When you set goals, use this checklist to adjust them so your goals actually work for you. Use the links below to dive more deeply into the concepts.
Remember, the reason we make goals is not because having achieved them will make us happier. (We are terrible at predicting how we will feel in the future.) We make goals so we can focus. Focusing on something we believe in almost always makes us feel great, right now. Make your goals SMART so you can feel you are making progress. Make them SEXY so you love doing them.
Don’t get all anal and shit making sure every step you take fits all these criteria; in fact, the last two, eXelling and Yummy, will often conflict with each other. Instead, when you are forming your goals, whip out this checklist and read these articles to get ideas about how you can create a better, more motivating goals.
And definitely bring out this checklist when you are stuck.
Specific. Clearly define your goal. Answer, WHAT? you will do. The more specific your goal, the easier it will be to focus on it.
Measureable. Quantify your goal so it’s very clear when you are finished. Don’t let your goal grow. Answer, HOW MUCH? is enough.
Achievable. Make sure you have both the opportunity and the means to complete your goal. Believe yes when you answer, CAN YOU?
Resonant. The goal must align with your deeply held values. Ask WHY? you are doing it until the reason clearly rings in your heart.
Timed (and Triggered). Set deadlines. Use a timer. Make it a race. Be explicit about WHEN? Then set triggers to make starting automatic.
Shared. Sometimes doing it alone is pretty great, but when you share a goal, or you have someone to help, it’s almost always better. WHO?
Energizing. Get blood moving between your heart and your brain. If you can’t include movement in your goal, then move before. BREATHE.
eXcelling. Make your goal challenging— just barely beyond your abilities or skills. Find Flow at the edge of frustration, and grow. EXCEL.
EXcelling needs at least a full article, but here’s a starting place. (Cool video.)
Yummy. Coffee, dirt under your nails. Another version of Flow is losing yourself in the pleasure of doing. FEEL GOOD? SMELL GOOD?
So obvious, but we often forget to wallow in odor. Instructions here.