On Wednesday, I posted my SMART financial goals for 2012 of which there were two main goals. Today, I will be doing the same for some personal goals and again, there are two. I don’t think it is possible to focus on too many goals at one time. I think that some of them will get neglected so why not start with fewer goals but actually do something about them.
SMART Personal Goal #1: Lose Weight
S: Specifically, I want to be below 200 pounds which would be the first time in almost 14 years that I would have been under that weight. The most I have been is about 228, but I usually fluctuate between 205-215. Since I weighed 213 pounds yesterday, that means that I am wanting to lose 14 pounds at a minimum.
M: Duh, of course it is measurable.
A: I do think that it is achievable. There is no real reason that I need to weigh what I do. We are talking losing a little over a pound per month. Not exactly a crash diet.
R: Yes, it is realistic.
T: I am giving myself an entire year since I want it to occur as a result of some lifestyle changes.
Let’s talk about those changes then. Basically, I need to eat healthier and exercise more. I need to start drinking more water (just went to get a cup). I think I should commit to 32 ounces of water per day and should limit my diet soda to no more than 2 per day. I also plan to get back to tracking my caloric intake on my smart phone. That worked wonders this past year, but as my personal trainer would say, “Once you stop tracking, you start slacking!” Thanks!
Exercising more is really going to be getting out and walking a little more during the winter, spring, and fall. I play golf and softball during the summer and work out with weights and the trainer each week. Basically, if I watch my diet at all, I could probably get it done.
SMART Personal Goal #2: De-clutter the house
Life is busy and my family and I tend to accumulate stuff.
S: I want to clean out my closet, room, garage and basement. Not sure if this is specific enough but it will have to do for now.
M: Not sure how measurable it is, but it will be pretty darn obvious when it happens.
A: Yes, it is achievable. The house didn’t have this much crap in it when we moved in.
R: It is also realistic if I could just get my butt in gear. But after working 50+ hours per week, running the kids to practice, and helping out with laundry and dishes, I am pretty tired. Just keeping up with the laundry for 6 kids is a full-time job. We have to run the dishwasher twice per day to keep the sinks from over-flowing. Anyway, just saying.
T: My wife and I will be working on the closet and will make sure that it gets done in the next week. Then we can start on our room so I will assign a time limit of the end of February. I may have to take a vacation day to work on it. Garage will be done in March (though I did take the aluminum cans to recycle yesterday–got $21 for 42 pounds). Basement will come after that, but I am not assigning a time.
The kids will be on their own when it comes to their closets and rooms, at least until I can get my stuff together. The biggest thing for me to help get this accomplished will be to make a to-do list and portion out the tasks a little at a time. Maybe I can get some good work done during half-times on New Year’s Day.
Being an active blogger brings about many benefits, one of which is the fact that I end up reading a lot of material online and offline and so get to learn a lot of new things. One of the things that I learned this year is about goal setting and making my goals SMART. SMART is a mnemonic to aid in memory (what is the point of a silent ‘m’ in English anyway) and if you haven’t heard about it, I will be explaining it in this post. Later as we get closer to the new year, I will share my actual goals.
S is for Specific
Goals should be specific and not vague. One of my goals for the new year will be to lose some more weight. I have lost about 10 pounds this year and want to get a little bit lighter since I am sure that it will be healthier for me. But it is not good to say I want to lose weight or want to get fit. It has to be more specific than that. The SMART system for goal setting will help. It is better to set a goal of losing 5 pounds or being able to run 2 miles.
M is for Measurable
You have probably heard the adage, “If you can measure it, you can manage it.” I couldn’t agree more. I tend to like numbers quite a bit and being able to measure something usually means a number is involved. Obviously, body weight is pretty easy to measure. Calorie intake can also be pretty easy to measure and track with today’s smart phones. I have an app on my phone where I can track what I have eaten for the day and inform me how many calories I have left for the day to achieve a certain goal. This was one of the tools that I was able to use this year to lose some weight, but I slacked off and stopped losing. In 2012, I have to get better about my level of commitment.
A is for Attainable
The goal has to be achievable. It would make no sense for me to want to set a goal of doing 1000 push ups in a day if I was unable to do even one, or to set a goal of bench pressing 2000 pounds when the world record for the bench press is 1075 pounds. It really makes the goal meaningless and more likely to be ignored than to strive for it.
R is for Realistic
I have also seen relevant as another ‘R’ word. Realistic seems to go along with attainability so I tend to like the relevant term a little better now that I have been reading more about goals and goal setting. For me, losing another 10 pounds in 2012 is both realistic, attainable and relevant. It is important for my health to lose some weight, not simply for weight loss, but because the focus on a healthier lifestyle is relevant to my overall longevity and ability to enjoy life.
T is for Timely
The goal should have a target date. Many of us tend to procrastinate and find other things to do with our time. There are so many activities and things to do in life that it can be difficult to manage the limited amount of time we have and adequately prioritize. If I want to move losing weight to a higher position in my priority list ahead of eating pizza and chocolate cake every night for dinner, then I need to set a time frame for shedding those extra pounds. Leaving an open-ended goal is not really setting a goal at all.
Working on My 2012 SMART Goals
Over the next few weeks, I will be working on 3 main goals for 2012. I have heard it said that it is difficult to manage more than 3 major tasks at one time so I will be sticking with 3 main areas for goal setting as I prepare for personal and financial improvements in 2012. I will then be sharing these with you in a future post in order to establish a level of accountability which is also a vital part of setting goals.
Blogging on personal financial topics has also helped me with accountability and forced me to maintain more focus on my personal finances. I was able to pay off a business credit card this year and look forward to making more progress in the next.
Readers: Are you working on your SMART goals? Care to share any before January?