Whenever life throws at us a change: moving, a new job, sad events, marriage, a new born, it makes us reset either for good or bad.
I started my new job a couple of months ago and since then I stopped writing regularly for my blog and other good habits I had. Even when I moved abroad, was doing an internship, studying chinese etc. I still kept on writing an article a week.
At first, I thought that I stopped doing it because I was too stressed out. The fact that I didn’t have a stable place to live and a new job.
However, It appears that in regards to my blog, I had a short term goal: “create a portfolio to help me find a job”. I wanted to differentiate myself during the job search. The true reason of why I stopped is that I reached my goal.
I am pretty sure you have already heard about the SMART goal setting method (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely). I have used this method for a while. But, now I realise that whenever your goal is “SMART” it means that it has due date which is usually short to mid-term.
Why SMART goals don’t always work out
Let me explain …
Please look at the below 2 examples:
- SMART Goal: “I will lose 20 kg by June 2018”
- Process oriented goal: “I will work out at least 3 times a week with a combination of HIIT and resistance workouts, eat a paleo diet and get at least 7 hours of sleep every night using the sleep cycles method”
Have you guessed what will be the result at the end ?
In the 1st example: “I will lose 20kg by June 2018”
Best case scenario: You will lose the weight by June 2018 by restricting calories, eating “healthy”, exercising 5 times a week and so on. Then, you will decide to set a different goal to keep yourself on track and to not gain back the weight.
Mid case scenario: You lose the weight as planned and then gain it back
Worst case scenario: You don’t lose the weight, get frustrated (hitting a weight plateau for example) and go to extreme measures to lose the weight. You then develop other health issues.
In the 2nd example: Process oriented goals (new good habits)
Best case scenario: In a couple of weeks and month you see positive changes on your body and how you feel. You lose weight, look more toned and are healthy.
Worst case scenario: You still followed these habits/steps, and hence, feel healthier and maintain your weight.
As I shared in one of my articles, setting goals may be good in some cases but not for lifelong positive changes. Habits are key, and motivation just get us started. To keep on doing it we have to see a true benefit, a lifelong one.
What about you ? how did SMART goals work for you ?
I will talk to you soon …