•S - Specific (or Significant).
•M – Measurable (or Meaningful).
•A – Attainable (or Action-Oriented).
•R – Relevant (or Rewarding).
•T – Time-bound (or Trackable).
I agree with this way of setting and attaining goals, but notice this emphasizes the physical aspect of your goal. In order to accomplish SMART, I think you will need to understand the root of the problem you are trying to overcome, and that is often a spiritual issue.
Many people, for example, try to lose weight as their New Year's Resolution. Let's pretend a person sets the goal of losing 15 pounds for the whole year. Each third of the year they want to lose 5 pounds. They have decided to use Weight Watchers or some similar method to attain their goal. Everything seems to be in place to attain this goal, yet by the end of the year, they have not succeeded. In fact, most people quit that type of goal within the first few months, if not the first month.
Why do people quit? There are many reasons why people eat other than their bodies physically needing food. Let me list some that Erin Whitehead gives at her website www.sparkpeople.com:
To cope with stress, anxiety, sadness and so forth.
To handle our boredom
Because other people are eating
Because there is a special occasion
Because food is there
Because you're tired
Because the clock says so
Because it's free
Because you can't say no to food pushers
Thus, if a person's goal is to lose weight, and they have not considered the motivation of their eating, what will happen? They will give up on their resolution, because they have not thought about what is going on in their own soul. So, if they eat because they are stressed or anxious, in order to control their eating they will need to find another way to cope with their stress or anxiety. If they don't find another way to deal with their stress, they will most likely continue to eat no matter their SMART goal.
They, or should I say we, need to deal with the root cause of the problem, and not just try to handle the outward physical symptom. If we can discover and heal the root of the problem, we will more likely have victory over the surface issue, such as weight loss. So, for example, prayer often alleviates stress. Thus, if we turn our stress over to God and find peace in prayer (and not eat while we pray), we will not open the refrigerator as much or that bag of chips as much to release our stress. Then the weight issue starts to subside because we have learned a new way to deal with the stress..
This takes some soul searching. We as people often don't know why we do what we do. Quite frankly, we are often too lazy or too fearful to even explore why. But in order to get out of the habit of dropped resolutions or goals, we need to start digging deep. Let me give you a hint, if you have failed several times at the same goal, maybe it's time to dig a little deeper. Let me give you another hint, if you have failed several times at the same goal, maybe it's time to ask God to help you and to show you how to have victory over the obstacle.