In order to write a decent goal, there must be an expiration on it. Just like groceries, you need a date on your goals so that you know when to check to see if they are good or not.
Perhaps the most critical component of the time bound concept, is keeping in mind the goal itself. Keep it as realistic as possible. As I spoke to my health class the other day during my goals discussion with them, I told them that it would be unrealistic to set a goal to lose 50 pounds in 20 days. One student in the back quickly spoke up and said that it was possible. Of course, inquisitive me, I asked him how that was possible. He then told me that there are surgeries you can have that would remove 50 pounds of fat. Chalk one up for him.
Put a time stamp on your goals. That way at the end of that time, you can look back upon your goals and either feel very satisfied with meeting your goals, or feel very motivated to knock it dead next time around.
Individually, what do you want to accomplish and how soon do you want to accomplish it?
S- Is it specific enough, or did you make it to general and broad? Do you need to narrow it down further? Instead of saying you want to lose weight, how much weight do you want to lose?
M- Is it measurable? At the end of your time frame for your goal, can you 100% say you either met that goal or didn’t meet it this time? Don’t make a goal to eat out less often, rather make your goal to only eat out one night a week. You can measure one night a week.
A- Is your goal attainable? Is it realistic? If you have never driven a race-car before, it is not realistic to be in the Daytona 500 next year. Make goals that are uncomfortable, but can still be achieved with hard work and dedication to that goal.
R – Is your goal relevant? Does it pertain to the lifestyle that you have or want to have? Do not make a goal based on what someone else wants or needs. At the end of the day, you answer to you, and your goals should reflect that. Let someone help you, but don’t let someone else tell you what your goals should be, that’s on you. Be accountable and make them relevant to you.
T – Is your goal time bound? There must be an end date for your goal. At the end of a specific time period, you want to be able to look back on your goals and know whether or not they have been accomplished.
Make goals that are going to challenge you. Go out on a limb and try something new. You want to push your comfort zone to a point that you didn’t know you had. Nothing in life worth having should come easy to you. Put nothing but hard work, commitment and dedication to achieving your goals, and you will be shocked how you can surprise yourself.