SMART Goals is a useful way of making goals more powerful. While there are plenty of variants SMART usually stands for:

  • S - Specific (or Significant).
  • M - Measurable (or Meaningful).
  • A - Attainable (or Action-Oriented).
  • R - Relevant (or Rewarding).
  • T - Time-bound (or Trackable).
For example, instead of having "To increase my walking" as a goal, it's more powerful to say "Walk 3 miles, 4 times a week by August 31st, 2013.  

The following broad guidelines will help you to set effective, achievable goals:

  • State each goal as a positive statement - Express your goals positively – "Execute this technique well" is a much better goal than "Don't make this stupid mistake."
  • Be precise: Set precise goals, putting in dates, times and amounts so that you can measure achievement. If you do this, you'll know exactly when you have achieved the goal, and can take complete satisfaction from having achieved it.
  • Set priorities - When you have several goals, give each a priority. This helps you to avoid feeling overwhelmed by having too many goals, and helps to direct your attention to the most important ones.
  • Write goals down - This crystallizes them and gives them more force.
  • Keep operational goals small - Keep the low-level goals that you're working towards small and achievable. If a goal is too large, then it can seem that you are not making progress towards it. Keeping goals small and incremental gives more opportunities for reward.
  • Set performance goals, not outcome goals - You should take care to set goals over which you have as much control as possible. It can be quite dispiriting to fail to achieve a personal goal for reasons beyond your control!
  • In business, these reasons could be bad business environments or unexpected effects of government policy. In sport, they could include poor judging, bad weather, injury, or just plain bad luck.
  • If you base your goals on personal performance, then you can keep control over the achievement of your goals, and draw satisfaction from them.
  • Set realistic goals - It's important to set goals that you can achieve. All sorts of people (for example, employers, parents, media, or society) can set unrealistic goals for you. They will often do this in ignorance of your own desires and ambitions.
  • It's also possible to set goals that are too difficult because you might not appreciate either the obstacles in the way, or understand quite how much skill you need to develop to achieve a particular level of performance.
  • Good luck!  Contact Life Coach California if you would like support in achieving your goals!

Lose Your Marbles and Make the Most of Your Life

I’ve seen a few versions of this inspiring story over the years.  Enjoy!

There was once a middle-aged man who felt that he was wasting his life and career.

Days and weeks seemed to merge into each other and time was fast slipping away.  The dreams and aspirations of the man seemed a distant memory and he was determined to do something about it.

He went to the local store and bought a large glass bowl and a few bags of marbles.  He sat down and worked out how many Saturdays there were from that day to when he was due to retire and put that number of marbles into the bowl.

From then on, every Saturday the man would enter his study where the bowl was and remove a single marble.

He would place the marble in the palm of his hand, reflect on the week and ask himself a few questions:

  • What did I do with this week?
  • What did I learn?
  • How did I add value to those around me?
  • Did I take actions that got me closer to my goals?
  • How did I allow God to use me?
  • Was this week valuable or just a waste of time?
Then, he would look to the next week and ask himself:

  • How can I make the most of the week ahead?
  • Who do I need to assist?
  • What am I looking forward to tackling?
  • What do I need to do first?
  • What am I afraid of and how can I do it anyway?
  • How can I use my skills, passions and experience to be of service to God and the world?
He then disposed of the marble as a reminder that he only had a certain amount of time left so he shouldn’t waste a moment of it.

We don’t know how long we have left, but we all have a figurative bowl full of marbles that is slowly receding.

Time moves so quickly and it’s easy for us to squander the opportunities that we get to make a meaningful difference in the world.

Are you making the most of your life?

Or are you just losing your marbles from week to week with nothing to show for it?

It’s not too late to take charge and decide on a course of action that will increase your capability, influence and impact.

So what’s stopping you?