So, I was teaching study skills to one of my students the other day and the topic was goals. I realized the book we were using had a lot of really good tips and decided to write some of them down for my own use.

My Notes:
Make sure goals are:
1. Positive - "Stop being such a slob." changes to "Clean my room twice a week - and put on some music to make the job more fun."
2. Personal - it has to be important to me. I only make time for things I deem important.
3. Possible - if I don't think I can do it then I'm probably right.

Goals should be SMART:
S - Savvy
Easy to understand. No vague, difficult to follow, or confusing goals allowed! Keep goals specific and in the realm of possibility.
M - Measurable
Good goals define exactly what I intend to accomplish. My destination should be clear. There needs to be something about the goal that I can check to see if I met it by my deadline.
A - Active
Goals tell me what specific action I'm taking. Active goals include "do it" words, or verbs, that will keep me moving forward.
R - Reachable
Good goals will stretch me, but still seem reasonable. I need to be able to answer yes to all of the following questions:
"Do I feel I can attain this?"
"Is it realistic for me?"
"Is this a challenge I feel comfortable taking?"
My motivation will fizzle if I feel that my goal is unreachable.
T - Timed
Goals have clear dates when I will be able to say, "I did it!!!" These deadlines give me something to look forward to. They also motivate me - kind of like school assignment due dates since I never liked missing those. I need to think of goal dates like assignment due dates in the school of life. I am more likely to work on goals that have clear deadlines.

When stuck on a goal or procrastinating I can use these tips:
Take Ten
Allow myself to spend ten minutes working on my goal now. This simple ten minutes will often be just what I need to get moving on my goal. Since often, it is just the getting started that is the hardest part.
Use The Time I Have
If I try to wait for the perfect time to work on my goal I will just waste my time waiting. The perfect time is now. If I have five minutes I should use it. If I end up with five or ten minute increments a couple times a day I will still make progress on my goal.
I need to come up with positive, healthy rewards for meeting my deadlines. (Paint my nails, buy a new outfit, soak in a candle lit tub, etc.)
Set consequences for missed deadlines. (Five minutes in a wall squat with my little sister standing on my legs, fifty push-ups, etc.)
Make Time
This goal is important to me or it wouldn't be a goal. Since it is important - I need to make the time for it. No excuses. Not making the time means that I don't see it as important and I need to re-evaluate my goal and why I made that goal.
Schedule time for my goal. Make it a priority.
To Do List
I need to make a daily list that I can check off to be accountable to my goal.

Now, onto my goal:

By September 6, 2010 I will weigh under 240 pounds. That is 25 pounds less than my weight as of April 1, 2010. I have 5 months to achieve this goal. This means that I will need to lose 5 pounds each month. I will weigh in on the 6th of each month to see if I met my 5 pound loss for the month.

Plan of attack:

Daily Goals
30 minutes of exercise
I need to plan out each day of the week on a calendar
Drink at least 8 glasses of water everyday
Eat at least 2 servings of fruit and veggies
Weekly Goals
Re-evaluate goals for the week every Tuesday and adjust as necessary. Schedule any make-up workouts for workouts missed the previous week.
Weigh-in on Tuesdays to see if I met the week weight loss goal of 1.25 pounds.
Monthly Goals
Plan out the month by the 6th of each month.
Weigh in on the 6th to see if I have achieved the five pound weight loss goal.

To envision myself reaching my goal by writing an article as if someone had interviewed me:

Nata set out to achieve her goal of losing 25 pounds before her 26 birthday on April 3rd, 2010. Here we are on September 6th and we are not only wishing her a very happy birthday, but we are also congratulating her on losing 30 pounds. That's five more pounds than she set out to lose! She had a daily action plan that she followed consistently over the last five months and her hard work has really paid off. She weighs 235 pounds now and is setting her next five month goal to drop another 25 pounds by February 6th, 2011. Which will be just in time for her to buy a new outfit for Valentine's day. She says she feels fantastic and is completely ready to dive into her next goal. Her advice, "Sometimes it was hard to hit my daily goals. There were even a few days where I missed them completely. But despite the required effort - the days that I felt the best when going to bed were the days I achieved all the goals I had planned. So hang in there! Set daily goals and achieve them. Each success will add up to more pounds dropped. Don't you dare beat yourself up over the missed days. Just focus on what you've set up for today and do it! Today is what matters! Focusing on anything else will just overwhelm you!"

Affirmations [Keep them simple, specific, positive, and in the present]:
"I am strong and physically fit!"
"I can do whatever I put my mind to!"
"I am pursuing my goals!"
"I keep moving towards my goals step by step!"
"What I need is within my reach!"

Inspirational Quotes:

"If you don't know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else." - Yogi Berra

"A good goal is like strenuous exercise - it makes you stretch."
- Mary Kay Ash

"Remember that there are different routes to the same destination or goal, so if things don't seem to be working, try a new path." - Rebecca

"To fail to plan is to plan to fail." - Benjamin Franklin

"Without goals and plans to reach them, you are like a ship that has set sail with no destination." - Fitzhugh Dodson

"You don't have to be great to get going, but you have to get going to be great." - Les Brown

"You've got to believe in yourself, the sooner you love and accept yourself, the sooner you'll be able to reach your goals." - Florence Griffith Joyner

"You must visualize yourself as a success in order to be a success." - Rosa Diaz

"It's always more meaningful and wonderful when you can share your goals and your life with others. Great friends and family are key." - Missy Giove

"No matter what accomplishments you achieve, somebody helps you." Althea Gibson

"Before you begin a thing, remind yourself that difficulties and delays quite impossible to foresee are ahead. If you could see them clearly, naturally you could do a great deal to get rid of them, but you can't. You can only see one thing clearly and that is your goal. Form a mental vision of that and cling to it through thick and thin."
- Kathleen Norris

"It is the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting." - Paulo Coelho

"All that is necessary to break the spell of inertia and frustration is this: act as if it were impossible to fail. That is the talisman, the formula, the command of right-about-face that turns us from failure toward success." - Dorothea Brande

"I've always believed that you can think positive just as well as you can think negative." - Sugar Ray Robinson

"Reach high, for stars lie hidden in your soul. Dream deep, for every dream precedes the goal." - Pamela Vaull Starr