Hello lovely people, as Janxiety reaches its peak, and Blue Monday lurks round the corner, I’m sure you are probably totally over all this talk of a “fresh start”. So if you’re about to hit “delete” on this post – stop right there.
If you really and truly want to change your life this year, then you need a methodical way of doing so. That’s why in this post I want to introduce you to the concept of SMART goals. I know when we start thinking about goals it can all get very overwhelming, which we recently called time on over on my YouTube channel here with my favourite Mindset Coach Jose Ucar of Finding Excellence.
But the reality is, we are not just mums, we are people. People who have wants, desires, dreams and wishes. If you have something you want to change in your life this year, then you need to know all about SMART goals and so today I’m delighted to have Jose join me in this Q&A about how we can set SMART goals for mums too:
First up, what are SMART goals?
SMART is an acronym used for goal setting. It can also be considered a framework, which combines all the different elements to be considered by an individual or organisation when setting goals, objectives or outcomes.
Simply put, this model will provide you with the steps that will allow you to move from where you currently are to where you want to be.
They can be applied to all areas of our lives. We as humans, are always moving forward, never standing still, we are always evolving, but sometimes not in the most structured way.
So, the SMART model provides us with the structure that will give us direction.
just like a compass, keeping us on route towards our destination.
Could you share some further examples of relevant goals?
When we speak about goals, we are not necessarily speaking about wanting to be millionaire, becoming the successful owner of a multinational or running for President. Whereas, they can be worthwhile goals, something smaller and simpler as drinking more water every day, could be a goal just as well.
My point is, goals can be big or small, in the end, what really matters, is that you believe you can achieve them and make sure you do it.
If you want to run a marathon or a 5K park run, the process is the same.
A well-defined SMART Goal would be something like this:
It’s December 2019 and I’m living in my new house and it looks fantastic. I can still smell the fresh paint. I feel proud, happy and delighted. I’ve managed to make £500 extra every month to support my family for the past 2 years.
Can you walk us through how to set relevant SMART goals with some relatable examples?
I remember speaking to a lady once during one of my travels. She said to me, I would like a new car, and I said very good. What kind of car? She replied, I don’t know. Hmm, if you are not certain about what you want, how will you achieve it?
So, I asked her, what’s your favourite brand and model? And I asked her to describe the colour, the inside, the smell, the feel of her hands on the steering wheel. She made it specific (S). Then I jumped to the end, when would you like to have your new car by? We put a time to her goal (T).
Next, I asked her, what do you need to get your car by the date you have just mentioned? She said, I need to start saving a third of my salary each month; great, I said. This is how you will measure your progress (M).
Can you afford to save that amount of money and yet cover your cost of living? Yes, she said, I can make some adjustments and will be ok (A).
I followed this with yet another question. How will this impact your life and the life of others around you (R)? Instead of focusing on the goal being realistic, it’s more relevant to look at the ecology behind your goal. Will it make your life and the life of those around you better? Another question can be, what is the highest intention behind your goal?
After our conversation, we exchanged emails and she thanked me for the clarity she had gained from the conversation. I still remember that she said, I’ve never seen a goal so clear and achievable before.
A year later, she emailed me a picture driving her brand-new car.
As Napoleon Hill says, whatever the mind can conceive, it can achieve.
Once we’ve set our SMART goals, how do we actually go about achieving them?
I could say that setting your SMART goals is the easy part. Really achieving them on time is where the fun begins, and this is where your mindset will play a key role.
First of all, how much do you really want it? Are you willing to do what it takes to reach your destination?
Say your goal is not drinking coffee for a month, are you ready to deal with the potential headaches, lack of energy, mood swings that it could create?
My point here is whether you have considered the challenges along the process and whether you have the resources available to overcome these obstacles.
One of the biggest challenges could be overcoming your procrastination habits, that in many other occasions have kept you from making the progress you could have made. How are you going to go about them differently this time?
It’s important that you prepare in advance for the above and look for solutions.
Another way to prepare is by looking at your goal from different perspectives, which can help you accessing new resources and developing the mindset you need to reach your goal.
These 4 questions are:
- What will happen when you achieve your goal?
- What would happen if you didn’t achieve your goal?
- What wouldn’t happen if you did achieve your goal?
- What wouldn’t happen if you didn’t achieve your goal?
Then, it’s time to create a plan to draw the path towards your goal.
A very easy to apply planning framework is the 1-3-5.
For example, say your goal is to buy a new house by October this year, then you will add what you need to achieve your goal, i.e. apply for a mortgage, look for properties, increase your savings. Then, the actions to achieve each one of the strategies. You could use a Gantt chart or any other scheduling tool. I personally do it as below:
Apply for a mortgage:
- Look for banks
- Arrange meetings with bank advisors
Look for properties:
- Google nice areas where to live
- Look for new constructions
- Look for a second job
- Cut my current expenses
I then put the plan on my wardrobe door to look at it every day when I wake up and before I go to bed.
What are you five top tips for setting and achieving smart goals?
– Run some preparation in advance for the obstacles to come and remain flexible.
– Find and meet people pursuing similar goals and model those who have already achieved them.
– Always keep your goal in mind.
– Say and write your goal the way you want it.
– Imagine yourself 5 minutes after having achieved your goal and notice how you feel differently now. (Do this every time you feel anxious or worried about achieving your goal. This will help you find the resources and state of mind you need to reach your destination).
So I hope you can see that setting SMART goals can really be for anyone and applied to anything you want to achieve or any changes you want to make. You don’t have to be some big shot career woman, it can be me, you or your school mum friend down the road. So can SMART goals for mums actually be a thing? Yes, they certainly can, and I know that each and every one of you can use them to make change if that’s what you want for this year.
Have you thought about using SMART goals to make change in your life this year? Do leave a comment and share. And if you enjoyed this post why not check out this one on top life hacks for busy mums.