I have been so annoyed at the lack of the “K” on the S.M.A.C. acronym in my previous entry.*
After pondering a possible “K” for goal setting the past few days, I’ve decided your goals must be Kind. Though you shouldn’t have evil goals, such as “World Domination” (though that’s not specific or measurable, if it were your goal, it might be, “take over one small country per quarter”), what I mean by “Kindness” is that your goals should be kind to yourself.
I have seen some pretty rigid goals that are not very forgiving of this little thing I like to call “being a human.” Don’t kill yourself to fit into those size 2 jeans again (they’re probably out of style now anyway). Don’t try to be someone you’re not. Embrace your way of being and add a goal to improve yourself just a bit. Small changes allow for big opportunities. You don’t need to set and achieve a ridiculous goal to be a better person. If your goal is to improve fitness, start with little steps**, such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator.
Look at your successive approximations to your goal and be proud of them. Don’t beat yourself up if you set out to work out 5 times a week and you ended up working out 4 times. Four times is pretty darn good, and probably more than you were doing before.
The same goes for the goals we set for our children’s behavior. If we want them to make their beds and they start out making them one time a week, that’s one more than they were doing before. I cringe at IEP meetings when the goal is “Homework Completion” and the kid turns in homework 4 times a week and we focus on the one time he doesn’t. It’s hard to remain positive about IEP goals, which are designed to target deficits, but in 2008, I will definitely make a better effort to acknowledge gains in each and every IEP meeting I attend.
*More on my recovering perfectionism in another post. Meanwhile, don’t look at how the sidebar “Labels” has both capital and lowercase letters for the titles. That has been bugging me. I said don’t look!
**No pun intended.