Marjorie JamesLast week, I started going through the SMART plan of goal setting that Paul Meyer developed. I got as far as S = Specific and M = Measurable before time ran out. Now, let’s continue.

ATTAINABLE: Is meeting the goal possible? Let’s face it; sometimes our goals are not very realistic. Continuing with the weight-loss paradigm, I could make a goal of losing 100 pounds by Christmas. That is just not going to happen! Goals that are unrealistic are meaningless; we defeat ourselves even before we start.

RELEVANT: This is one aspect of goal setting that I would not have thought about, but it makes perfect sense. Goals that we make must matter to us. Do they seem worthwhile? Is this the right time to tackle this issue? Does this match our efforts and needs right now? Is it applicable in our current situation?

TIME-BOUND: Give yourself a target date. A commitment to a deadline can be a driving force for success. When our younger daughter was going to get married, she and I wanted to lose some weight. We had a definite date in mind, the wedding day. It helped us have laser-like focus on the goal. There was a sense of urgency.

Part of the “time-bound” element involves little goalposts along the way. Where do I want to be on my weight-loss goal in a week? A month? A year? What can I do today to make progress?

No one can say that the transition from married to single is easy or even desirable most of the time, but SMART goal setting can help make it more productive and positive. Collaborative teams work hard to make sure that both parties are ready to face the future with confidence. SMART goal setting is a natural continuation of the work accomplished during Collaboration.

Copyright 2013. Marjorie E. James. All rights reserved.