Goal setting is one of those things that we often do in our head and don’t discuss with anyone. Personally I have found that if I write down my goals and then talk these out with my family and friends, I am more likely to achieve the things I set out to do. Setting goals can be done in any situation, be it professional work related goals, health & fitness, wealth, the list is endless.

I am writing this post because I have recently reviewed my personal and professional goals and found it very useful to sit and think about my future goals, but also reflect on my achievement of previous set goals. A good friend of mine introduced me to the SMART principle of Goal Setting that I have found very useful for myself and also that of clients that I deal with in the clinical environment. Often when we set goals, they are often general, not defined well, not realistic and there is no set time upon which we are trying to achieve these goals. This sort of goal setting often puts us in a situation where achieving these goals is much more difficult. Rather, the SMART principle is a great way to set goals.

SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic & Time Bound.

Specific refers to making the goal specific. Wanting to lose weight is a goal, but I would argue is not specific enough. Rather, losing 5kg is a specific amount.

Measurable. Put a value, amount, measurable target to it i.e. I want to improve my chest strength, I want to be able to do 10 push ups which is one way of measuring chest strength.

Attainable. For the client who has never performed a push up in their life. Setting a goal of 100 push ups in a row is too great. Rather, choose a goal that challenges you, but is also achievable.

Realistic. This refers to the above again. Set a goal that is realistic in the time frame that you set.

Time Bound. Placing a time and date with which you want to achieve the goal is important. Without this, we are not accountable.

If we use these principles when setting ourselves a goal, the chances of success are much greater. I have many clients present to the clinic wanting to make changes to not only their health and wellbeing, but also professional and personal life. Sometimes during a consult I will talk about the SMART principles and ask the client to write down some goals in relation to their injury or overall fitness health. Those clients that have done this have often been the more successful ones at achieving their goals.

So next time you are thinking about setting some goals, make sure you apply the SMART principle.

Osteopath Heath Williams is owner of Principle Four Osteopathy. Principle Four Osteopathy is located in the heart of the Melbourne City CBD 3000 at 29 Somerset Place, Melbourne City CBD 3000 (near the corner of Little Bourke & Elizabeth St). To make an appointment or to speak to an Osteopath, please call 03 9670 9290. Online appointments can now also be made by going to www.principlefourosteopathy.com

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