Monday, January 23, 2017

Setting S-M-A-A-R-T Goals for Your Family

By Angela K Woodrow,  
Updated by Janet Bonnin

Want to know the secret to achieving your goals/dreams/ wishes/ desires?

It is all about being intentional. When you are aware of what it takes to get something done, know the steps, know the cost (time, talent and resources) - then getting it done is focused and intentional and the results are always good!

Think of it this way...did any athlete or successful business person get up out of bed one day and say ‘ta-da’ goal accomplished? No. Truth be told, there are always setbacks. When you have a plan that is clear and descriptive, even the setbacks can be leveraged to help you accomplish your goals.  Lets look at the steps to help you and your family get ready to flourish with goal setting:

When you are making a goal, it needs to be a S-M-A-A-R-T goal.  In the Fine-Tuned Families community, this stands for:
  Specific
  Measurable
  Actions
  Accountability (the "Secret Sauce" that helps us attain our goals)
  Resources
  Time Table

A goal can simple, such as “Eat a meal together”.  Is that too easy? Actually, it is not specific enough.  The goal is announced, but the people participating in making it a reality don’t have a concept of how to accomplish it.

So first it must be Specific:
“Eat breakfast together”.  The meal is defined. The goal of eating a meal together is defined as the first meal of the day.

To make the goal have some strength, it must be Measurable:
“Eat breakfast together two times a week.”  Now, the specifics can be measured.  It may be Saturday and Sunday...or it may be a quick breakfast stop mid- week at the local coffee shop-- what a way to motivate those young teens out of bed! When a plan needs to be adjusted you have 5 other days to choose from to help you meet the desired goal. 

Actions: What actions do you need to take?
  Set the alarm
  Go to bed a bit earlier the night before
  Set up a budget to help you manage the cost of eating breakfast out once a week

Accountability: This is the "Secret Sauce" in taking goal setting to realization.  There are a number of ways you may create some accountability in your plans.  The first is to ask someone to be your accountability partner.  Who are you going to report to regarding your success or the need to adjust the goal setting strategy?  Another way to hold yourself accountable may be by creating your own checklist.  Still another could be journaling about your progress, what you discover and your successes.

Resources: This category may seem to overlap with Actions as set out above. But, like painting a room, the more prep the better the result! Naming and claiming who will do what is just as important as naming the action.  Who actually will do the cooking or set up and then the clean up or shopping? 
Looking at the ‘big picture’, allows you to hash out a successful goal reaching strategy.  Double checking your thinking may make the difference between getting a jump on the reaching your goal versus falling into the rut of "flash starts and weak finishes". (Also known as the definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over again, yet expecting a different result.)

Time table: This is an important and often ignored part of successful goal reaching, the awareness of time - when do you want to start the goal? What is the best time - now or the week kids have off school so that accomplishing the goal is enjoyable and gives the kids motivation not to linger in ‘non-routine’ moments.

Taking the time as a family to set S-M-A-A-R-T Goals; to really organize, plan and implement the goal allows your family to celebrate success and know how to move forward in planning the next goal, such as: “Eating 2 meals a day together 3 days a week!”

Enjoy creating and achieving S-M-A-A-R-T Goals this year with your flourishing family!