In this podcast I’ll be discussing how to set SMART goals you will actually achieve.
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The last 10 months have been pretty crazy, full of emotions and anxiety, but I’m sure we can still make the most of the last two months of 2020. Even with this new lifestyle of social distancing.
In this podcast is on how to set achievable goals.
I personally like to set goals every month or every quarter. Every time I set goals I use the SMART method. This is something I learned in business school. SMART stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and timebound.
Making Your goals specific from the the start, will eliminate any extra time you’ll spend making decisions or not knowing where to begin.
Making your goals measurable is important because then your progress is clear
Setting achievable goals will make sure you won’t get dissapointed and don’t lose motvation whenever you don’t reach your goal.
Your goal has to be relevant. Wat is the purpose of your goal. Why is it important to you?
Making your goals timebound, setting a deadline will light a fire under your ass to keep you going.
The status quo
Where are you in you life right now? What are the things you are greatful for? What are things you would like to change? What are things worth consistently working on? Think of things that your want to change in your life in te following categories.
- Mental health
- Physical health
- Personal Finance
- Planning, organization and consistency
You can add more categories such as career or education if you want, but in this episode we’ll be discussing the categories I just mentioned.
If you’re commuting you can just think to yourself and write it down whenever you’re home.
Be very specific about the things you want to change and work on. What are the reasons you don’t like these aspects of your life? Your why represents the relevance of your goals.
Your WHY is important here. Your why represents the relevance of your goals.
Willpower forces your had to avoid things but never rewards you with your long term goal whereas WHY power allows you to make choices and proceed with more care.
I learned this from the book : The Power Of WHY by Simon Sinek.
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Let me tell you about my status quo.
Things I am grateful for are my supportive partner, and the fact that none of my loved ones have gotten sick yet.
My mental health is okay. I still have anxiety sometimes and I need to work on that, because giving me a hard time falling asleep.
My physical health is BAD. I don’t feel energetic. I gained 17 pounds in the last year and a half. It has to stop. I’m starting to not like the way I look.
I currently live in a 20m2 shoebox in South-East Amsterdam, bacause I can’t afford anything else and I’m getting sick of it. I want to get out because I don’t have any room for creativity. I’m also making student loans to get by. My realtionships are fine. I’m Indian and I do have tigerparents. I’m learning to let go and not care if something is not good enough for them.
My planning, organization and consistency is slowly getting better.
I like to keep my status quo’s over the year so I can look back at them.
Keep the journal you’re writing this down in, because years from now you will look back and see how far you’ve come.
Let’s get to the specifics of each category. Starting off with mental health.
Did you ever go to a therapist or a psychiatrist and get diagnosed with an illness? Are you taking any medications? Are they working for you? Are there other options or alternatives for your medications?
What are bad habits that affect your mental health and how can you get rid of these habits?
(Discliamer: I’m not a medical professional and good habits may not be the solutions to you mental health problems. Don’t experiment with different doses of prescribed medications and/or self-medicate without your doctor first!)
Is there any trauma that you have dealth with in your past? Is this trauma still affecting you today and how? How can you learn from it and heal.
For me meditating has helped a lot with my anxiety and journalling has helped me heal from things I’ve been through. It has helped me live in the present rather than going back to old memories.
Toxic friends, partners and relatives can be a pain, emotionally as well as be an obstacle between you and your goals.
Do you have anyone in your life (a friend, a partner or a relative) that is abusing you in some way and how can you deal with their toxicity? Would it be better for you to distance yourself from them or maybe even to cut them off? Do you depend on them in some way? How will you distance yourself and cut them off?
Again, be very specific about how you want to change your current head-space. Try to write down your mood every day an reflect on it or make a mental health habit tracker. This could help you keep track of your progress. I actually made a free habittracker for you guys. If you go to mindofneha.com/freehabittracker and sign up for my email-list you will automatically receive the free habittracker download in your mailbox. mindofneha.com/freehabittracker.
Bad physical health can actually lead to mental health problems. A bad diet can decrease the dopamine and seratonin production, both of which are hormones associated with happiness and mood regulation. Having an unhealthy diet can actually give you symptoms of depression.
What is your physical health goal? What is your body or weight goal and how can you achieve it based on your bodytype? What is your BMI? You can likely do a BMI scan at your local gym. Some BMI scans are not completely accurate, but it will kind of help you make a estimate of what your body needs more or less of. Is your goal about feeling better or looking better? If your goal is to look better, make sure you’re doing it for yourself and not because anyone else is telling you to lose or gain weight!
What is your body type? Do you want to gain or lose weight? How much weight do want to lose or gain? Are you drinking enough water? How much water you drink can actually affect your metabolism.
What workouts do you enjoy the most? What workouts work well for your body type? How many times a week do you want to work out? Would hiring a personal trainer and/or going to a dietician be beneficial for you?
Overestimating yourself while setting quarterly goals could lead to dissapointment. If you are just starting out with health and fitness, make sure to take it slow.
Setting quarterly goals regarding finances can be difficult. Your quarterly goals in this aspect of your life should be as specific and achievable as possible. Your finances are unpredictable and so they are hard to plan.
Saving a certain amount of money is the most achievable personal finance goal to set. Use the 50/30/20 rule to determine how much money you should save with your current income. Don’t forget to take yearly bills into account. 50% of your Post-tax income schould be to pay your needs with. Rent, car payments, groceries, etc. You can spend 30% on your wants and 20% should go to your savingsaccount.
A common mistake people make is living above their means and spending too much. If you get a pay raise don’t immediately lease an expensive car or move into an expensive apartment. You’ll be living paycheck to paycheck. Try to track how much you spend on wants every single day. Try to have days in the month where you don’t spend any money on wants. Try to live below your means. By living below your means you should be able to save 20-30%. The remaining 20-30% is for you to spend on things you want and don’t neccesarily need.
If you want to make more money the goal “make more money” is too abstract. How will you make more money? How many hours a week do you work? How can you work smarter and not harder? what can you do now to make more money? Can you turn your hobby into a side hustle? How much extra time do you need to make extra money? How much money do you want to make at the end of this quarter? Again, try not to overestimate yourself when setting quarterly goals as finances can be unpredictable. This YouTube channel by Aja Dang has been very inspiring.
What relationships do you value the most and why? What relationships are not serving you anymore and why? Are there any people in your life that don’t respect your boundaries and how will you deal with them? Are there any people in your life that affect your mental health?
Toxic relationships can be extremely psychologically damaging. I’ve heard of people that have parents with or had partners with narcissistic personality disorder and had to take years to distance themselves and heal from the emotional trauma.
for those of you who don’t know what narcissistic personality disorder is…
Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) is a personality disorder characterized by a long-term pattern of exaggerated feelings of self-importance, an excessive craving for admiration, and struggles with empathy and feeling guilty for their actions.
I can make a complete episode on the kinds of toxic people and how to distance yourself from them. While distancing yourself from those who affect the way you feel, spending enough time with loved ones and building new relationships is also important.
Do you have enough time to visit your loved ones? Are you putting enough effort into maintaining meaningful relationships? How much time do you want to spend each week spending time with people and working on relationships?
I’ve always had a hard time making friends and maintaining friendships. In the next two months I will reach out to some old friends. Hopefully I get to see some of my old friends as soon as this pandemic is over.
Planning, organization and consistency
Without planning, organization and consistency, you won’t reach any of your goals. By setting SMART goals, you increase your chances of getting things done and improving your life.
Use the right planning method for YOU.
There are lots of different agendas on the market. Finding one that works for you and your SMART goals will definitely help you stay organized on your journey. The passion planner is very versatile and works for many people. Bullet journalling seems to be a trend now. f you want full creative control over how your planner is structured it’s perfect for you!
I personally like to use Notion. It is an all-in-one completely cutomizable planning/note-taking app that you can download on pretty much all windows and iOS devices. You can also sync all your devices. I like Notion because I can build a planning and organization system that works for me. By the way, this is not sponsored. Thats how much I love Notion.
A journal is very convenient for tracking progress and making to-do lists. I made some seperate pages on Notion to write down my objectives for the week, what habits I have to stick to, blog ideas and detailed breakdowns of blog projects and college assignments. Journalling helps me keep my thoughts in order.
You can also use a journal to self-reflect. Self-reflecting helps you be more self-aware and helps you do better each month. I find that by self-reflecting I learn to use my time more wisely and get more done.
Time-management is important and removing distractions from life are important but I will make another episode on this.
After setting your goals it’s very important that you make sure your goals are your and not someone else’s.
It can be difficult to tell the difference between something we want for ourselves and something a loved one wants for us. We care about others and know that they care about us. Caring isn’t the problem. It’s adopting their aspirations for us without examining whether we actually want them. Unless they’re obviously nagging, it can be hard to tell where your dreams stop and someone else’s start.
So before adding someone else’s idea to your list of goals , answer these questions.
Is this something I actually want to do?
How would achieving this goal fit with the other things I want in my life?
Do I have the money or time needed to pursue it?
What will come off MY list if I do this?
What does the person suggesting this get out of it?
Does that really matter?
Why does the person suggesting this think it’s such a good idea?
If I do this, what logically comes next?
And do I want that next thing?
I have Indian parents, and yes they are tiger parents. They always want me to be the best and they always compare me to my older and smarter siblings. And although I care for them and their opinion I had a hard time figuring out what career path I wanted to take, because of their opinion. It was never right or never good enough, but I’ve learned to let go and not really give a crap about their opinion. I know what is best for me.
Alright, I hope this podcast was useful and that you’re motivated to accomplish most of these goals before 2020. In december we’ll be making achievable new years resolutions and setting goals for the first quarter of 2021.
In the next episode I will be discussing 3 habits that will change your life, so stay tuned if you’re interested.
If you want to connect with me you find me on Instagram @mindofneha of go to the FB group called “The Own Your Life Podcast”.