Setting SMART Goals for Spring

It’s great to finally see signs of spring and many of us start to think about cleaning our desks, getting rid of clutter and freshening up our living space.  While our homes may need spring cleaning, one could argue that so do we! Living an examined life is all about thinking about what you are doing and why you are doing it before taking action. Spring is a great time to tend to our internal lives and get cracking on setting some SMART goals for the future. 

Setting SMART goals is a powerful framework to make sure that the goals you set for yourself are actually attainable and realistic. Here’s an outline of how SMART goals work:

S – SPECIFIC: Set a goal that is limited to a specific area. Instead of saying, “I want to be happy” try focusing on something like “I want to practice more gratitude” or “I want to spend more time with my friends.”

M – MEASURABLE: Ensure that your goal has a quantifiable element to it so that you actually measure if you achieved it or not. For example, saving a specific amount of money. 

A – ACHIEVABLE: Setting realistic goals will help you attain them. You might not qualify for the 100 meter Olympic race, but you can improve your endurance or increase your speed. 

R – RELEVANT: Align your goals with your values and your overarching dreams and ambitions. 

T – TIME BOUND: Set a due date for completion or a schedule to ensure you create urgency and focus on time management. 

Here’s an example:  

Alan wants to learn guitar. He speaks with his friend Karen and she tells him he should set a goal. Alan has always kept a bucket list in his head. After talking to Karen, he thinks about his bucket list and: “Learn to play guitar.”  But how can Alan improve his goal so that he has a way to stay on track, measure success and keep focused? Let’s turn Allan’s goal into a SMART goal:

“I will learn to play four new chords on the guitar before the end of April 2024.”  This is a specific goal and is time bound. 

“I used to take guitar lessons when I was a kid, so I have a foundation of music to build on.  I already learned two chords over the winter break!” This suggests the goal is achievable.

“Having music in my life brings me a lot of happiness and pleasure. I will download the Ultimate Guitar app and practice my new chords every Monday and Wednesday.”  The goal aligns with goals and is time bound with a schedule to get him started. 

Good luck with all your spring cleaning… inside and out!

Need help with setting goals? Perhaps a counsellor can help! At Waypoint Counselling Network, we know finding the right therapist is the most important step in seeking help. We will help match you to the right counsellor in Victoria, Vancouver, Burnaby, Kelowna or online anywhere in BC.  All of our counsellors offer online counselling via phone or video and some offer in-person sessions. To get started, simply complete our matching questionnairebook a matching and referral call with Clinical Director, George Bielay or proceed to book a free consultation with one of our clinicians here