KJ Green

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Goal Setting


Goal setting is the process of identifing things you want to accomplish, whether they are treatment goals or personal goals. Goals are generally end points made up of incremental sub-goals, called objectives. I subscribe to a goal setting method called "SMART," where each goal and/or objective meets the following criteria:

S
-
 Specific
M
-
 Measurable
A
-
 Actionable
R
-
 Realistic
T
-
 Time-framed

S -
Specific
Specific goals use language that clearly define the objective.
 

Poor example: I want to be healthy.
Many things contribute to being "healthy," such as smoking cessation, drinking less alcohol, eating a nutritious diet, exercising, etc. Pick something more specific.

Better example: I want to exercise more.
Still, there are many different types of exercise.

Good example: I want to walk more.

M -
Measurable
Measurable goals are quantifiable.
 

Poor example: I want to walk more.
More walking is better than no walking, but how much walking do you want to do? (think frequency, intensity, and duration - things you can measure)

Good example: I want to take a brisk (4 MPH), 30-minute walk, 5 days/week

A -
Actionable
Actionable goals involve the act of doing something, rather than stopping something.
 

Poor example: I want to stop smoking.
While this is admirable, stopping smoking is not a thing you do; it's a thing you stop doing. Reframe your goal to make it something you do.

Better example: I want to engage in a smoking cessation program.
So what are the actions involved in the smoking cessation program?

Good example: I want to use an electronic cigarette instead of smoking tobacco. Then I want to systematically and incrementally taper down the frequency in which I use electronic cigarettes.

R -
Realistic
Realistic goals are attainable, and can be sub-divided into objectives, or can be built upon to achieve larger goals.
 

Poor example: I want to be President of the United States.
While this may one day be attainable, it is not a realistic goal. It's too large, too grand. Consider sub-dividing this goal into objectives.

Better example: I want to get involved in local or state-level politics.

Good example: I want to make contact with the local political party headquarters to explore possible options for getting involved.

This does not mean you won't be President someday, but you don't generally start a political career as the President - that's more of an end point.

T -
Time-framed
Time-framed goals have deadlines or time frames. Parkinson's law states that "work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion." If you do not have a dealine, your goal might stay on your to-do list and never be achieved.
 

Poor example: I want to make contact with the local political party headquarters to explore possible options for getting involved.
This is a realistic goal, but when are you going to do it?

Better example: I want to make contact with the local political party headquarters by next Friday to explore possible options for getting involved.
This makes the goal flexible in time management terms.

Good example: I want to make contact with the local political party headquarters this Wednesday afternoon at 2:00pm to explore possible options for getting involved.
This makes the goal rigid in time management terms.

If you have questions or feedback regarding goal setting, or anything else on this website, please feel welcomed to post to my blog or send me an email at the below address and I will be glad to respond.

sms:+13177312505, mailto:KJ@KJGreen.com
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