S.M.A.R.T. Goals: Get Specific About What You Want
Written by Dr. Larry
Ladies and gentlemen, you’re back. It’s Dr. Larry Burchett. So this is the S.M.A.R.T. Goal series. We’re going to kind of help coach you as an E.R. doctor/hospitalist through a goal that’s important to you.
So let’s start with the S.M.A.R.T. criteria. That ‘S.’ I’m just going to talk about the ‘S’ in this video. ‘Specific’ refers to picking the actual goal and it being narrow enough that it’s defined. Let me give you an example of how I’ve seen this played out. I had a friend who weighed 350 pounds. And he lost 60 pounds and got down to 290. And I was like, “That’s great! Good for you. What is your next goal?” He didn’t have one. He didn’t have the next thing. He’s like, “Oh, you know… I’m going to lose more weight.” Is that specific?
Now the interesting thing here is that this guy could get down to 290, but he never got beyond that. And when I asked him more about it, he just had this generic, nonspecific goal of losing more weight. And this is the interesting thing about this stuff. I think that when your goal is very clear and very specific, it engages your brain and your spirit, really, to kind of start asking these questions. ‘How can I achieve this?’ ‘I want to weigh 285 pounds. How can I do that?’ ‘My goal is 285 pounds.’
When it’s a generic, undefined, nonspecific thing — “Oh, lose more weight” — it just kind of leaves you floating. It isn’t as engaging and motivating as having that specific goal. Same thing with anything else. “I want to have more money.” How much money? $5? $1,000? What you’re going to do to try to make a hundred dollars is going to be very different than what you’re going to do if you say, “I want to have an income of a million dollars a year.” That’s going to take a different approach.
So get your goal in mind and ask yourself: how can I be specific with this? Now, with regard to weight, I’m going to go with another example. Fat loss and weight loss are not synonymous. Being more specific than “weight loss” says, “Yes, I want to lose weight and I want to lose fat.” If you just want to lose weight, people will do anything to get the scales to go down. If your goal is not specific enough, you might be tempted to do some of these cleanses, some of these diuretics, some of these unhealthy things that are going to have a scale go down quickly, but you’re really not losing any fat.
So this is also where you get back into the Big Why. What do you really want? Do you want the weight down? Do you want to look better? Do you want to be healthier? Do you want to be more attractive to your girlfriend or boyfriend? Do you want attention? I’m not judging any of these things, but I would just ask you to take a moment to kind of get clear on this stuff and what of those goals, as we’re getting specific, align with your Big Why and your grand vision for your life. Now with your goal, how can you make that a specific goal?
Alright, that’s it for this video. Make sure that you have subscribed to my YouTube page. The next video in this series is ‘Measurable.’ We’re going to talk about how being able to put a number to your goal is helpful in this process. I’ll see you on the next one.