If you’ve ever set goals in life, you probably remember the “neatly designed” acronym labeled as S.M.A.R.T.
A S.M.A.R.T. goal is defined as one that is Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Results-focused, and Time- bound. And while this method is indeed a very “smart” way to go about strategic goal achievement, the creators of the catchy acronym left out one very important thing:
“What do you do when obstacles come your way?”
Because in my experience (personally and professionally) obstacles are what throw most people off from reaching their goals. Here’s what some of those obstacles look like in the area of wellness:
- You decide you’re eliminating sugar from your diet for the next 7 days, and your co-worker brings in doughnuts from your favorite bakery (and presents you with one especially for you, the one with the custard inside…yum!)
- You’ve decided to eat more plant-based meals, but your family isn’t on board AT ALL
- You and a friend decide to become walking buddies, and all of a sudden, your buddy decides she’s unable to commit to the daily walks after work anymore
These are just a few examples, and I’m sure if you take a moment, you can come up with a few more of your own.
But here’s the thing: we get so busy in the planning of making it to the finish line, we don’t even think about the inevitable obstacles that’ll come our way.
Kinda like going on a road trip: We plan for everything we’ll do when we get to the destination, but forget that there may be inclement weather, or even detours that may slow up our arrival.
Although you can’t avoid the obstacles that’ll come up, there’s one simple thing that you can do to still successfully reach your goals:
PLAN FOR THE OBSTACLES AHEAD OF TIME
In the world of wellness, we teach you how to meal plan, schedule your exercise, and even make a plan for consistent self-care. But no one’s talking about the most important plan, which is a plan to overcome certain obstacles.
What will you do when the doughnuts come to the office? What will you say when your co-worker hand delivers you your favorite custard-filled treat?
What plan will you have in place for your family’s meals because they’re not yet ready to eat more plant-based meals?
What will you do when/if your girlfriend can no longer commit as your walking buddy?
Extra Credit Question: What will you do when life throws you a big lemon, and your usual routine becomes non-existent for a few weeks??
PRO TIP: Plan for obstacles to happen. Because they will, and if you aren’t able to pivot in the moment, you’ll find yourself in the throws of life.
Instead of creating S.M.A.R.T. goals, I like to be more of a S.M.A.R.T.Y. goal setter. Here’s what that looks like:
Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Results-Focused, Time-Bound and Yielding to Obstacles. Mama always said I was a smarty, so I’m gonna have to agree with her here.
And I want you to be a S.M.A.R.T.Y. goal-setter, too. Yield in the face of your obstacles and have a concrete plan to navigate beyond them.
Don’t just give thought to the plan. Write it out, like a declaration.
Simply put: “IF ABC happens, I will say/do XYZ in its place.” Boom!
Who said being a smarty had to take a lot of time and effort? They lied! 🙂