SMART


Do you find it difficult to motivate yourself in the morning? Do you dread your daily grind because its boring and redundant. Or maybe there's a certain somebody you are not looking forward to talking to because, well, their annoying. Congratulations! You're normal. But you might be a little distracted, and in need of getting refocused.


There are so many factors that go into achieving and maintaining a positive attitude. A big part of it, as you may have already guessed, comes from within. Within the mind that is.


The saying that "an idle mind is the devil's workshop," is true. There are people out there who can do absolutely nothing, and be happy, but I'm not one of them. I'm only happy when my mind is busy. When I'm working toward something. When I have a goal I am trying to achieve. It feels good.


So, that's my advice to anyone with the above mentioned problems. Set a goal for yourself, and find something to focus your attention that makes you a better person. Whether that's eating healthy, starting a workout, going back to school, starting a wood working, or crafts project, or maybe even writing a blog. Whatever it is, make it something that is important to you.


Do not create a goal strictly based on what you see in others, or how you compare others to yourself. If you are going to lose weight "because Karen, or Mike, look great," then you're probably not going to see that goal though because you will constantly be measuring yourself against, Karen, or Mike. And weight loss takes tim, as most goals do. So create the kind of goal that makes you the priority for you, and not someone else the priority over you. For weight loss, health reasons and health factors related to obesity can be your focus. If you are overweight, and stay that way, then you probably won't live very long. And dying of heart disease or diabetes are a couple of the worst life experiences ever. So forget, Karen and Mike, think of the person looking back at you in the mirror.


But there are plenty of ways to challenge yourself. Remember SMART, when it comes to goal setting.


Specific. Be precise with what you want to do. I want to read War and Peace (wow, good for you), I want to lose weight, I want to quilt a blanket. Specificity is paramount.


Measurable. Numbers are a fantastic way of keeping track of progress, and staying focused on the over all goal. "I want to lose 25 pounds, run a half marathon, finish War and Peace."


Attainable. Be realistic about your goals. Expecting to lose 50 pounds over night, is probably not going to happen. Not without some serious health risks. Goals must be reasonable, and within reach.


Relevant. This goes along with what I mentioned earlier which is that your goal should be because you want to achieve it. Not because someone tells you, or maybe just as bad, you think someone wants it for you. Your goals should be what you want to do, for yourself.


Time Sensitive. Give yourself small "mini-goals" to strive for on your way to your main goal. Let's say you want to finish that War and Peace novel (ugh), but it's going to take some time, so maybe you say, I'll read 10 pages a day. Or 25 pages smaller goal with the idea of completing the overall goal is the point here.


And don't be too hard on yourself, if you miss a day. Work twice as hard next time. Or maybe you had an off day. Let yourself off the hook. Some progress is better than no progress. But get back on the horse! I've found that the longer you take to get back in the groove of accomplishing a goal, the less likely you are to achieve it. So, it's important to remember that when it comes to achieving goals, persistence pays dividends.


UNow, to go back to the example I gave earlier where we dreaded going to work. Now it should be a little easier to get through your day to day, because now you are focused on you, rather than something, or someone else. You must always be the most important person in the world to you.


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