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How to Set Goals

Happy 2017!  

I wanted to give this post a week to allow 2017 to sink in fully. Let's take second to, as my good friend and Crossfit mentor CJ always puts it, "take a personal inventory." Am I alive? Yes. Do I have food in my stomach right now? Am I wearing a warm winter coat in the middle of winter in New York? Yes. Am I immensely thankful for all of these things? Yes. Okay, good. Now we can talk about goals.

Setting goals is a great way to kick off a new year. Intentions. Resolutions. However you want to look at it. But the magic of setting goals isn't in the goals themselves (though they are obviously important in the practice of setting them); the magic is in the personal inventory set BEFORE the goals are made. Where are you now? Where do you want to go? How do you want to get there? These questions are rarely asked and often very difficult to susinctly answer. Perhaps that is why we only reserve a particular point in time once a year to assess them. 

Give yourself permission today or this weekend to sit down and really take a personal inventory on your situation. Are you taking care of your body with healthy doses of fitness? Is your nutrition in check? Are you in a healthy and stable relationship? Is your work/life balance on point? Are you living the life you want to live and on your terms?

I was going to give you a laundry list of MY personal goals for the year in excruciating detail (read more, sleep more, water more, meditate more), but that would be taking away the time you need to figure out YOUR plans for the new year. Instead, sit down and list out all of those aspirations you want to achieve over the next year, or two, or five. Go ahead. I'll wait...

Okay, you have your goals listed out? Perfect. Now, let's categorize them into two groups of goals: outcome goals and behavior goals.

Outcome goals

Look at your list. How are you goals written out? Are they general? Do they involve outcomes that are seemingly beyond your control? That's okay! Let's say your goal is to "make more money." WHOSE ISN'T, AM I RIGHT?! That sort of goal could be considered an outcome goal.

Outcome goals come in a lot of shapes and sizes. "Lift more weight." "Get healthier." "Commit to a relationship." But often, outcome goals are met with frustration because they're not specific enough or don't follow a timeline. And by February they just fizzle out into a sad mess of forgotten resolutions. That's the next step of making goals: make sure they're SMART!

S - specific

M - measurable

A - achievable

R - relevant  

T - time-bound

Keeping this acronym in mind, let's reassess our goal of making more money. How much do we want to make? When? Is a billion dollars really realistic? Rewritten, it can look something like this: "make $1,000 more a month over the next year to save up for a trip to Singapore."  Be sure your goals cover all the bases! Take a second to rewrite your goals to make them SMART.

Behavior Goals

Feeling SMARTer? Good! Now let's see how we achieve our goals we so eloquently created. 

As much as we want to conjure $1,000 into our lives, we can't just think it into being. There are steps that need to be taken to make it happen. What if we got a job with Uber? Tutored kids in math? Spent less money on brunch (BUT WHYYYEEEE?!)? Perhaps these little decisions and behavior changes could make a big impact on our income and bring us an extra $1k a month! 

So how do we feel? Inspired? As the great Dr. Seuss once said, "only YOU can control your feature." And it's true! So go get those damn goals accomplished! And share your accomplishments in the comments! We're all rooting for you.