Goal Setting: Be SMART

Goal Setting: Be SMART

Click here for the first installment of the series.

Still not sold on Goal Setting?  Already give up on 2021 like so many I have heard?  Don’t give in.  Goal setting has already helped me earn two fabulous qualifying scores at Jax’s first try at 2nd level (and a high point) this month.  It’s also helped me get all my work done, lose 7 lbs in a handful of weeks, add in more fitness work, AND helped me with house projects and daily chores.   You think you don’t have time for it…but you will have MUCH more time if you do it and plan ahead!  What can it do for you in a month?  6 months?  Think about it!

If you did your homework from last month’s blog and didn’t jump ahead, good for you!  If you did your homework and jumped ahead, good for you!!  If you didn’t do your homework yet (or don’t know what that homework was, have a revisit to the first in the series and get your motivation going).  And make sure to sign up for your free workbook below.

So you have your list of Dreams written out?  Well what next?  I’m sure many of you have heard of SMART goals before, but here’s a refresher!  Dreams can only become reality if they are turned into achievable goals.  For a goal to be a goal it has to follow the following criteria.  Be SMART.
  Specific.  Measurable.  Achievable.  Relevant.  Timeline.

1. The goal has to be Specific.  Not “I want to lose weight and get fit.”  You need to say, “I want to lose 20 lbs in 2021 and be able to run a 10k.”  See how that is different?

2. The goal has to be Measurable.  Using the example above…it is measurable because 20 lbs can be measured (on a scale).  And being capable of running a 10k can be measured (by your ability to do it or not).  There you go.  By making it specific, I already made it measurable.

3. The goal has to be Achievable. “I want to lose 20 lbs this month,” isn’t achievable in a healthy way…and for most people physically impossible without dying.  Saying “I want to lose 20 lbs in 6 months,” is much more achievable and reasonable.

4. The goal needs to be Relevant. You have to REALLY TRULY want to do it.  If it’s not going to make a difference to
 you one way or the other, then it’s not going to happen.  You have to do the work after all!  If you don’t want 
it badly enough, it won’t happen no matter how much goal setting you do!
  Just make sure you really, truly want to lose that 20 lbs (or whatever the goal is) and if there’s doubt, try and seek out what psychology is holding you back there…and then go for it.  So rewrite that goal to “I will lose 20 lbs in 2021 and I will run a 10k.

5. It has to be on a Timeline. The goal needs a clear and specific completion date or you will let it drag on FOREVER!!! We all know about procrastination. This date needs to be firm and real. Even better if you 
give yourself consequences for failing (like donating to a cause you disagree with if you fail…seriously…try writing a check to some org or person you hate…and if you fail on the timeline (pending major outside interference), you send that check).  So instead of saying “I will lose 20 lbs in 2021,” say “I will lose 20 lbs by July 1, 2021 and I will run the Super Amazing 10k in Rockstarland, USA on September 16, 2021.

Do you see how we went from wussy, floppy and wiggle-outable with “I want to lose weight and get fit,” to take-no-prisoners get-it-done with “I will lose 20 lbs by July 1, 2021 and I will run the Super Amazing 10k in Rockstarland, USA on September 16, 2021?


Goal Setting: Be SMART

Now I’ll give you a real world example.  Mine!  Let’s take an example from my Dream sheet.

  • Jax and I win the 2nd Level RAAC class in August (I just had a dream it happened a few nights ago, so therefore it can)!

Okay sure…there’s some MAJOR mindset moments with this dream and no amount of planning will ensure that we win.  However, we need to turn this into goals and break them down.  There are a huge number of steps for me to take to get to those shows to begin with.  So let’s make it SMART and break it down.

I need to turn this dream to a goal.

  1.  Jax and I will qualify for RAAC at 2nd level by August 15.  Jax and I will attend RAAC at 2nd Level in August 2021.

Specific?  Yes.  Measurable?  Yes. Achievable?  Yes.  Relevant?  Yes.  Time bound?  Yes.

I can take that SMART goal and turn it into hundreds of different smaller goals to meet the larger dream.  I can take those smaller goals and turn them into smaller goals yet.

Goal Setting: Be SMART

Now this is where the real work starts.  Anyone can write down their dreams.  Anyone can make a SMART goal…not everyone can turn those SMART goals into smaller, manageable pieces that will get them to that goal.

Lets take  “Jax and I will qualify for RAAC at 2nd level by August 15.” and break that down.  To qualify for RAAC I need to pay for memberships and get 3 scores from 2 different judges at 2nd Level of 60% or higher (I also need 2 scores/2 judges for USDF Region Finals and 5 scores/4 Judges for CDS Finals…which I will also be doing along the way).  To break that down I can say…

  • I will sign up for all memberships required for showing by January 1, 2021. (DONE)
  • Jax and I will clinic as available with a well known and tough dressage judge. (this is broken down by dates).
  •  Jax and I will attend as many shows as we need to in Jan, Feb, March, April, May and June to attempt to qualify for RAAC (and USDF/CDS Region finals for that matter) giving us at minimum 12 shots at that 60%.  (I have this broken down into individual shows and sign up dates).  (We already showed in January and got two scores Yippie!).
  • Jax and I will solidify our simple changes, halts, rein backs, medium gaits, lateral work and so on and so on. (this can be broken down a million different ways).

Goal Setting: Be SMART

I am also going to add mindset goals in here to push me towards those blue ribbons I so want to end the year with.  You can keep going as micro as you want with these goals.  The smaller you make them, the easier they are to achieve and then you’ll have momentum.

Okay…now it’s your turn.  Take one of those dreams and turn it into a SMART goal.  Take that SMART goal and break it down into smaller SMART goals.  Don’t forget to cement these with timelines.

I highly recommend you purchase some sort of goal journal to help you.  One that is a mixture of a goal journal and a daily planner is super ideal.  I really like the ones from Clever Fox.  They do have a few different versions and colors available on Amazon as well.  They also have an awesome food journal if that’s your jam.

Goal Setting: Be SMART

See you next time with your goals in hand!  I’ll have a number of tips and tricks (and pitfalls to avoid) in March!  Good luck and have fun working towards an awesome tomorrow!

Don’t forget to sign up for your free Goal Setting Workbook sponsored by Decidedly Equestrian and StreamhorseTV.