Lindsey Vonn is no stranger to injury. After winning Olympic Gold in the women’s downhill ski in 2010, she suffered a knee-injury that required surgery and tore her ACL shortly thereafter. Between the devastating tear in 2014 and her return to the Olympics in 2018, Vonn has fractured her ankle and her arm, gotten surgery again, had a concussion, and suffered “acute spinal dysfunction” at the 2017-2018 World Cup. And yet, just fourteen hours ago, Lindsey Vonn was back on that slope, winning the bronze medal for the U.S.
How can athletes undergo so much, and still have such incredible success? According to former CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishing House and successful entrepreneur Michael Hyatt, knowing how to create SMARTER goals can take a dream and put it in reach.
SMARTER goals, according to Hyatt, are defined as: “Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Risky, Time-keyed, Exciting, and Relevant.” In his article “When and How to Use Habits to Achieve Your Goals,” Hyatt explains how knowing how to create SMARTER habits can put seemingly far-off goals in reach.
According to Hyatt, there are two ways to use habits when goal-setting.
First, Habit Goals. Hyatt describes these as a “vague aspiration that you can’t seem to make measurable.” Ex: You want to understand what goes into an Olympic mindset. Your SMARTER habit goal could be spending the first thirty minutes of your day consuming articles and videos exploring the mindset of your role models every day for ninety days.
Second, Habit Steps. These are steps used toward creating an achievement goal. Ex: You want to run a four-minute mile. The habit step could be practicing sprints and splits for thirty minutes a day, starting today, and ending in seventy days. At that point, you can re-evaluate how much closer you are to your goal, and see what needs to be done to get there.
Ready to create your own SMARTER habit? Write down your overall goal, then decide if you’re creating a habit goal or a habit step. Once you’ve determined which one you want, begin penning your new habit, remembering to add four criteria: First, a start date. This is when you’ll begin the habit. Second: Frequency. This is how often you’ll implement the habit. Third, add a time-trigger. This is when you’ll implement the habit, be it morning, first day of the week, etc. And fourth, include your streak-target. Hyatt describes this as “how many times in a row you must do the habit before you can consider it installed and check it off your list.” (Hyatt also notes that it takes 66 days on average to successfully ingrain a habit, so consider that when creating your streak-target.)
Once you’ve created your SMARTER habits, the next step is to track them. While you can simply use a calendar or a checklist, Hyatt suggests using an app like Habit Bull that helps you track how well you’re implementing your new habit and troubleshoot possible deterrents. Are you backsliding because you’re waiting too late in the day? Are certain days of the week harder than others? Having data you can refer to to identify your own patterns will help keep your new habit alive, getting you that much closer to your goal.
Many students who come to our accredited worldwide online school do so because CMASAS offers them the opportunity to pursue their dreams while culling a personalized education. Each student receives “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Teens” upon enrollment, and our PECs work with our students to help them create actionable SMARTER goals that fit within their schedules. Curious about the seven habits of highly effective teens? Join our newsletter to receive our upcoming blog series delving into each one!
Here at CMASAS, we believe dreams have no age-limit. So why wait to begin living yours?
“Great results don’t just happen. You have to be intentional.” -Michael Hyatt