Goal setting

(Each new year, we go into the archives and pull out our goal setting series.)

I am a big proponent of writing down both professional and personal goals – after all, if you don’t know where you’re going, how are you going to get there? Putting goals on paper also makes them real, a contract with yourself. They should also be shared with someone – a spouse, friend, colleague – which can help keep you accountable.

The SMART formula is an easy format to use, so your goals should be 1. Sensible, 2. Measurable, 3. Achievable, 4. Realistic and 5. Time specific (including timelines and milestones). If these are professional goals, include financial elements.

And last but not least, visualize success! Thinking positively can really affect your outcomes. If you don’t practice positive thinking, give it a try – many things become a habit if done for 30 days.

What are you committed to? How will you make it happen?


  1. Just spent 3 days in the hospital due to ‘vitals’ being out of whack. Blood glucose > 400, hypertension and cholesterol way up. This was a wake up call.

    Immediate goals:
    1. Lose 2 lbs. per week. Seems reasonable since I am at 255.
    2. Walk at least 30 minutes, continuous, a day. Seems reasonable and easily attainable.
    3. Do calorie counting and monitor what I am ingesting.
    4. Develop more goals in other areas of my life. (financial, spiritual, having fun…)

    These are so I can reasonably expect to be around for 10-30 more years. (currently 57.5)

    • Go, Richard!!!!! Do you have a dog? I walk with our dogs first thing in the morning (a lot easier in the summer when it’s light and warm at 4:30am than in the winter when it’s freezing and doesn’t get light until 7am!). Not only is it my time to think, pray, appreciate the beauty of the earth and organize the day in my mind without phones or interruptions, but I have also met some wonderful people this way. Not to mention the fun of watching the dogs romping around, seeing their doggy friends and enjoying the sheer joy of just being a dog!

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