Article Written By Kim McSheehy
It’s that time of the season; time to ponder where you want to go and what you want to
achieve in 2015. So as you get ready to write out your goals for the coming trail running
year, here’s something to help take it to the next level.
A few years back, I read a book called Hundred Percenters: Challenge Your Employees to Give It Their All, and They'll Give You Even More (2009) by Mark Murphy. It introduced me to the concept of HARD goals, and I fell in love with the way it made me think through my goals. It was no longer just about the facts of what I wanted to achieve, but how I would feel going through the process and after successful completion. HARD goals are:
- Heartfelt—you really want to do this
- Animated—you describe all the parts and pieces of moving through the process
- Required—you have to do it
- Difficult—why bother doing something that is not a challenge?
During my chaplain residency 2011, I wrote this for my “self-care” goal:
Heartfelt: I want to achieve a healthy Body Mass Index (BMI) so that I: a) avoid serious health issues like heart disease and diabetes b) project a professional image of someone who practices good stewardship c) fit into some awesome Brooks Brother suits my grandmother bought for me my first year of seminary that I haven’t worn in 9 years. During these 12 weeks, I will lose 20 lbs.
Animated: This is achieved through a mixture of exercise and eating properly. This means making sure I have at least 1 fruit/veggie at every meal, paying attention to my portions, drinking water or unsweetened ice tea rather than soda, etc. It also means taking the stairs rather than elevator (yes, even to the 7th floor although I will need to build to this) and using the free work out center in the apartment complex and McCauley. When I achieve this first phase of the goal it will feel incredible! The joy of being able to shop in a store; not feeling like an ox in a fine china store charging through and bumping into things, having more energy, and being able to wrap my arms around my husband to hug him before he goes to work and when he comes home.
Required: I want to avoid serious health complications and project a professional image.
Difficult: It will be a challenge to live in to this new life style. There is a strong possibility of self sabotage by eating to deal with the stress I feel or saying “I’m too tired to go to the fitness center.” In other words, this goal will implode from a lack the self discipline to do the hard work to get back on the right track.
The more time you spend pondering the heartfelt (why) and animated (how will it be accomplished and feel when achieved) the greater your chance of success. The HARD goal format takes a little more time to write out. It’s more fun to use to get back on track because it plugs into the emotional aspect.