As we all attempt to get back to “business as usual,” it’s important for us to take some time to focus on ourselves. 

For some pointers on how to do this, we’ve connected with certified Behavioral Therapist and Life Coach, Lauren Vogel Freedman, M.Ed. She is one of our fellow Steelhead Wellness Program coaches and is known for her blunt, no excuses, and brilliant approach.

Freedman’s style of goal setting is much the same — blunt, but brilliant. For her, it all starts with setting a very clear, measurable goal you actually want and then reverse-engineering milestones to help you get there.

As she suggests, “Having a measurable goal helps gauge your progress. It’s black and white, yes or no. Not an option.”

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See below for her full guide on goal setting:

Develop a S.M.A.R.T. Plan 

SPECIFIC — Set a specific goal. Create a balance between “not much room to move” and “flexible while maintaining a specific outcome.“ 

MEASURABLE — Is your goal an end result you can measure? For example: You can measure a dollar amount, a number on a scale, a number of clients, etc. You cannot measure happiness, a relationship, a feeling ...

ACHIEVABLE — Is your goal possible, realistic, and something you can achieve in the time you set for yourself and in the manner in which you set it? 

RELEVANT — Is your goal too high? Not high enough? Or does it give you that butterfly feeling of anxiousness and nervousness while still feeling it’s possible.

TIME-BOUND — The difference between a goal and a dream is a due date. “I will have this goal accomplished by ____.”  Your goal can be big or small, due tomorrow or a year from now.

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash 2

What to Do Once You Set Your Goal

Once you set your date, go backwards. Set shorter due dates to keep you on track. Say, for example, you have a goal to “be a healthy 150 lbs” and your end date is three months from today. Following that, you should set mini, monthly S.M.A.R.T. plans to keep you on track and avoid being overwhelmed.  

Here’s how to do it:

  • Change the time of your plan to every “1st of the month,“ knowing you need to reduce 10 lbs every month to keep on schedule  
  • Next, set another SMART plan with the time of “every Friday.”  Calculate how much you “need” to reduce weekly to keep you on track
Check in w. Yourself - Photo by Linh Pham on Unsplash

Check in with Yourself

Do you know how to eat an elephant 🐘? One bite at a time.  

There WILL be frustrations, bad days, setbacks, and stalls. You can’t change the world, only your reactions to it/your thoughts about it/your actions towards it. You can only control what you can control. Ask yourself in the moment ...

  • “Is this something I can control?“  
  • “Am I having a logical thought about the outcome?” 
  • “Is this a worry caused by overthinking or something based in facts?”

Set time - Photo by Icons8 Team on UnsplashSelf-Evaluation – Be Sure to Set Time Aside to Ask Yourself These Questions:

  • Why is this goal important to me? 
  • Is it worth the energy? Do I feel passionate about the result? Does the end result motivate me?
  • How will I be different once I accomplish this goal? What changes as a result of accomplishing this goal? How is my life different?  
  • What obstacles might I encounter? And what are the ways I can overcome those obstacles and make them opportunities?

By making goals and developing S.M.A.R.T. plans, we hope you can make the most of this unique time to focus on yourself. 

About The Author

1-181606Lauren Vogel Freedman, M.Ed Behavior Specialist, Certified Life Coach and Summer Camp Director, has dedicated her life to guiding others — to identify their passions and set realistic, attainable goals — and coaching them until those goals are reached. 

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