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Best Practices For Setting Life Transforming Goals - Short Term Goals

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Hopefully you're in a good habit of eating healthy and getting good exercise on a regular basis. Even if not to lose weight, just to stay in shape. I, unfortunately, am not the best eater and do not get to exercise often. Driving and riding in a truck for 20+ hours a day, makes it really hard to stay on track with doing what's right. I try to incorporate my chair exercises while I'm driving but, keeping safety in mind, don't get to do them but so often. So, I have created some goals that I need to start working toward. I am proud to say that I've already started taking baby steps toward achieving them. 

I'm writing this post, for me and for you, in case getting started or staying motivated seems a bit too daunting. This is all in an effort to reach our peak state of physical health, which has a direct result on our mental health, right? Even if your goal has nothing to do with physical health, but maybe finances or parenting, I think you'll find great value in this 3-part series on goal setting. If you haven't read last week's post, "Life Transformation: Developing a Pre-Goal Setting Mindset," I suggest you read that, just so you get some advice on how and why we set goals in the first place.

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So, let's get started with the short-term goal part of the equation. I think this is the most important stage because it's those little wins that help keep us going in the right direction. Your short-term goals should be quickly and easily attainable. This would include changing one small bad habit, like cutting down your soda intake or trading a half hour of watching tv for taking a look at your bank statement and monthly budget. For me, I'm cutting down my coffee consumption and getting a good stretch in a couple times a day instead of a couple times a week. I've not completely cut coffee out, but have reduced my intake from 60 ozs to 40 ozs in the past two weeks... YEAH!!

Short-term goals are the stepping stones to accomplishing your mid-term (1-3 years) and long-term goals (5 years). You can't achieve the latter two stages without achieving your short-term goals. When writing down your short-term goals, use the S.M.A.R.T.Goals system as a guide:

  • S – Specific (or Significant).
  • M – Measurable (or Meaningful).
  • A – Attainable (or Action-Oriented).
  • R – Relevant (or Rewarding).
  • T – Time-bound (or Trackable).

Again, I will stress the importance of writing down your goals. Why? Because writing your goals down will, for one, help them stick in your mind. Yes, we all know we need to lose weight, get a better grip on our finances or do more good deeds. But when you write your goals down, then read them each morning and evening, you will refresh your "Why" and look at what you've accomplished today. If you're not on track, then you'll know what you should work a little harder on. You will be able to track what you've done and what you still need to work on. You're strengths vs your weaknesses. 

Remember, your priority is to achieve the small wins. Don't beat yourself up for not saving $100 each week when you've never saved a dime in your life. A great small win would be saving $5 each week for a month, then maybe increasing to $10 each week for the next month. If finances are the focus of your goal setting, you might want to check out this article, "Your Guide To Saving Money" by Karen Cheney.

Keep in mind that your goals are not set in stone! You may see the need to refine them from time to time. If you're not progressing as you'd like, DON'T GIVE UP! Just remember these key points:

  • Write your short, mid and long-term goals down
  • Focus on where you want to be in 3 months
  • Get started TODAY!
  • Read your goals each morning and evening to track your progress

If you need help getting started, feel free to leave a comment. If you'd rather keep it just between us, no worries! Email me and I will be more than happy to be your accountability partner. Unfortunately for me, I've been down this road too many times before. Fortunately for you, I've been down this road too many times before :-) I would love to help you get started and stay motivated. 

Now, it's your turn. Are you or have you worked toward achieving any goals? What did you do to stay on track? Are you on track? Have you had to redefine your goals? I'd love to hear your input on this. It would be a tremendous help to me and other readers. Thank you!

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