How to set goals which go together with your mind and heart
If you don't just want to experience life as it happens but instead make your dreams come true, you have to set clear goals.
Goals are like the lighthouses for your ship of life. They let you move forward even when your inner GPS is out of order, and your mind is in a fog or darkness.
Let's see how to set or choose goals that are more likely to get fulfilled because they are easier to manage and your motivation is higher. And make sure to check the digital solution for goal setting that I mentioned at the end.
Two acronyms to remember when setting new goals
When it comes to goal setting or evaluation, remember two acronyms: SMART and HEART.
SMART is based on logic, rationality, and calculations:
- S stands for Specific. Don't set the goal vaguely but instead target a specific area for improvement.
- M stands for Measurable. What you can measure, you can improve.
- A stands for Actionable. Your goal should be based on nature's cause and effect law: you must take action to get results.
- R stands for Realistic. It should be achievable with your resources and resourcefulness.
- T stands for Time-based. Your goal should be such that you can set a time frame and milestones for it and track your progress.
HEART is based on emotions, feelings, and intuition:
- H stands for Healthy. Your goal should add to your well-being mentally, physically, and emotionally.
- E stands for Enduring. You should be motivated enough to proceed during difficult times.
- A stands for Alluring. The goal should be exciting and inspiring to you.
- R stands for Relevant. It should be a goal that aligns with your life's purpose and core values.
- T stands for Truthy. Your goal should be something you truly believe in and not just something popular to do.
Example of setting an environmental goal
Instead of aiming to be a somewhat conscious consumer, be SMART with your objective. Set a specific goal: eat less meat, dairy, and fish products. Make it measurable: eat meat only twice per week, fish only once per week, and drink no more than 1 liter of milk per week. Make it actionable: a new tradition to eat fish dishes on Wednesday and meat dishes on Friday and Sunday. Make certain it is realistic: you live somewhere where you can get enough nutritious plant-based alternatives for other days. And ensure it is time-based: repeat the challenge for 60 days and then decide how to improve it.
To ensure your objective feels good, look at it from the HEART perspective. For example, is it healthy for you and the environment to limit the intake of meat, dairy and fish products? Would eating more plant-based food endure you through times of massive CO2 emissions, animal killings, and unsustainable environmental deterioration? Are you allured with being more conscious about what you eat? Is it relevant personally to you, or do you live in a location where certain foods are unavailable or not affordable? Is it true to you that people should become more conscious about what they consume, and do you know why?
Example of setting a financial goal
Instead of aiming to be somewhat wealthier, be SMART with your objective. Set a specific goal: have the ability to save, invest, and donate. Make it measurable: use 10% of your income for saving, 10% for investing, and 10% for donating. Make it actionable: set a monthly date to allocate your finances. Make certain it is realistic: if 10% for each area seems unrealistic today, adjust the percentages that seem affordable to you. And ensure that the goal is time-based: commit yourself to sticking to the plan every month for the upcoming year.
To ensure your objective feels good, look at it from the HEART perspective. Is saving, investing, and donating healthier than “spending money you don't have for the things you don't need, to impress people you don't like.” as Walter Slezak once said? Can saving, investing, and donating help you and others endure global financial crises? Isn't it alluring to have saved or accumulated money in your bank account or crypto wallet, and isn't it noteworthy to help others by donating when you can!? This challenge might not be relevant to you if you live below the poverty line or your life is close to the end. But is it true to you that saving, investing, and donating are better than enjoying instant gratification?
Example of setting a fitness goal
Instead of aiming to become somewhat stronger and healthier, be SMART with your objective. Set a specific goal: fasten your belt using two holes narrower than your current width. Make it measurable: 1 hole thinner means 50% of your progress, which should be achieved in half the time. Make it actionable: every day, do two sets of 20 leg-in-and-outs, two sets of 12 bicycle crunches, and three sets of 60-second planks, and jog for 30 minutes twice a week. Make certain the goal is realistic: are 2 or 3 sets too much? Then reduce that to what you can practically handle. And ensure that the goal is time-based: do the challenge for one month daily, then adjust it.
To ensure your objective feels good, look at it from the HEART perspective. Is getting healthier healthy for your mind and soul? Of course, it is! Does getting fit help you endure hard life situations? Yes, it does. Is doing exercises alluring? It might be if you do them with a long-term vision while listening to inspiring music. Exercising should be relevant to you, for example, by making you more fit, energetic, and persevering while achieving other goals. Does it seem truthy to you that regular physical exercises will let you narrow your belt fastening by two holes in a month or two?
Lots of ideas, no clear goals? Here is a solution!
Using SMART and HEART methods, you can set goals for any of your life areas: your environment, your career, your finances, your relationships, your personal growth, your mental health, and your physical health.
When trying to adopt new habits, don't reach for too many all at once. Instead, go with 2-3 at a time and set new goals once you complete your challenges.
If you are looking for a digital solution for setting and comparing SMART and HEART goals, check out strategic prioritizer 1st things 1st and particularly its project template “Goal Setting.” It helps you evaluate a list of challenges or project ideas and choose the SMARTest and HEARTest goals.
Discover other posts to fight procrastination, form good habits, break bad ones and live a better life.
"The purpose of setting goals is to win the game."