Archive for October, 2013

There is an old story that begins something like this:

A young man was traveling through the countryside on his way to a small town called Freeport. He pulled onto a gravel lot in front of a general store, and he saw an old man sitting on a bench. “Hello sir, I seem to be lost. Can you tell me how to get to Freeport?” The old man stroked his chin thoughtfully, “Well…. you can’t get there from here. If you were in Denich, you could get there, but you can’t get there from here.”

“How do I get to Denich?”

“Well now, that is the problem. You can’t get to Denich.”senior-man-sitting-park-bench-21777845

What is your reaction to this story? Do you laugh? Do you feel a sense of frustration? You might be thinking like I did: Is it really possible that there is no way to get from point A to point B? I don’t think so. There may be obstacles, or detours along the way. But, there will be some way to get there.

Are there things in your life you want to do, but have made no progress? If you answered yes to this question, is it because that thing only a “wish” and not a “goal”? Wishing does not make something happen. Setting a goal and pursuing that goal is what makes it a reality.

How many things in your life do you want but are not really moving towards? What is it that will get you from where you are to where you want to be?

If you are currently HERE, but want to be THERE, you need a strategy. This goes for everything in life and it’s the difference between making a wish and setting a goal. Whether your goal is related to your education, your health, weight, exercise, or something else…. Your goal can only be reached through a strategic plan.

Colleges often use the SMART goal formula for their students, and it can easily be applied to all areas of your life.

1) Is your goal Specific? – How will you know when you read your goal? Do you have a specific steps or grades in mind? Have you drawn your finish line?
2) Is your goal Measurable? – You can measure your progress through self-quizzing. If you are training to reach a physical goal, you can measure your progress by tracking your time and measuring improvements.
3) Is your goal Attainable? – Are there any real barriers to you achieving the goal? Can you make adjustments to overcome those barriers? Do you have the time to train/study/work, and is the “WANT” strong enough?
4) Is your goal Realistic? – Is the finishing time you are aiming for a realistic one? More importantly, do you have the tools to get you there? Have you made a study plan or made the training a priority and worked what you need to do into your schedule?
5) Is your goal Timely? – Have you allowed an appropriate period of time to prepare? Studying for tests takes time. I recommend at least 5 days of study for each exam. Are you running a 5K? How many weeks do you need to prepare your body? Will your preparations cut into time you need for other things and are you willing to make adjustments?

The beautiful thing about all this is that you can achieve just about anything you want in life by creating SMART strategies, and then following through with your plan. What is it you want to achieve? How will you get there? Share yours in the comments!