Monday, September 22, 2008

Achievable goals

So far in the goal-setting SMART acronym, I’ve covered how to make goals specific and measurable. Today I discuss goals that are achievable. Achievable means that you are reaching for desires within your grasp! 

Achievable goals are within your control. This is a very important step that can really trip people up sometimes. You can only control yourself. You can’t control events bigger than yourself or the actions of others. Some goals not within your control are:

  • I want to win the lottery
  • I want my children to behave better
  • I want my husband to treat me nicely
  • I want my boss to give me a raise

Winning the lottery is not within your control--you can only control whether you buy a ticket and which numbers you pick. You simply cannot control any other person’s behavior, so wanting your children or husband to do something or your boss to give you a raise are not achievable goals for yourself. You can control your own actions, and that is all! 

So how could you reframe these nonrealistic goals to be in your control? Try the following:

  • I will buy two lottery tickets a month. (Still playing astronomical odds, but the number of tickets you buy is in your control.)
  • I will come up with a punishment/reward system to encourage good behavior in my kids. (Setting up the system is in your control)
  • When my husband frustrates me, I will take a deep breath and calm down before responding. (Controlling your own response)
  • I will ask my boss for a raise and give four good reasons for him or her to grant it!

Take a look at the goals you’ve been developing--make sure they are all about YOU!

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