With the new year on the horizon, the general trend is to start making resolutions. It seems, though, that this word has negative associations for a lot of people. So instead, for 2014, let’s get SMART! SMART is an acronym for a method of goal setting that is: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-based.
Let’s break it downSpecific: You are much more likely to reach a goal that is specific rather than general. For example; saying, “I want to climb Leuthold Couloir on Mt. Hood in March of 2014, “ is specific as opposed to “I want to climb a mountain.” To be specific, you need to know the who, what, when, where and why.
Measurable: This helps you establish clear results or progress toward your goal. If the goal is to be able to climb 5.10, you will be able to see concrete progress when you can send 5.8, 5.9 and finally 5.10.
Attainable: Almost any goal is attainable when you allow yourself the proper amount of time to reach it and implement the proper training regimen for the skills involved. If you have a big goal that seems daunting or overwhelming, a lot of people fail to launch. Don’t let that happen to you. Break the larger goal into smaller “bite-sized” goals and each smaller success will add up until you have achieved the larger goal.
Realistic: To say that you want to climb WI5 next weekend, if you have never picked up an ice tool in your life, would be an unrealistic goal. To be realistic, you must be willing and able to do the work involved. This is not to imply that tough goals are unrealistic. Sometimes the tougher goals are the ones that pan out because there is a more significant amount of motivation behind them.
Time-based: A goal needs a time frame to give it a sense of urgency. Without the time frame, it is easy to continue to push it to the back burner. If you are unsure about whether your goal time frame is reasonable, talk to other people who have done it and see what their
experience was. If you have an outdoor based goal, take the season for the sport into consideration when setting up a training plan. You need to allow yourself ample time to train for your goal.
So there you have it, the framework to get SMART in 2014. Try writing out a SMART worksheet for yourself and see how much you can accomplish in the coming year.
Alissa Lesperance has been a member of the Mazamas since 2011. She is a personal trainer and yoga instructor with a love for the great outdoors. She has co-led the annual Mazama Yoga Retreat for the past two years.