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Lyfe The Long Run Tough Talk

Setting SMART Goals and PLANS versus To Do Lists


So I keep talking about getting caught up with my life. So I keep talking about these ideas and dreams that I have. So I keep talking about making changes. 

But am I really getting anywhere?

Two posts yesterday really slapped me across the face and made me their proverbial b*tch, but in a nice way. Maybe more of love tap. Nothing That I hadn’t heard in my past, but a new situation and circumstances stimulated a new perspective:

Post 1: Are You Setting SMART Goals By Sam (Pancake Warriors) at Jill Conyers


Post 2: The Way You Do One Thing is the Way You do Everything by Carla Birnberg

I’ve known about SMART goals for a long time, and I’ve heard the phrase “the way you do one thing is the way you do everything” many times before. But in the hands of two of my favorite people and in the context of where I am mentally at this moment, I suddenly had this realization:

I am feeling stagnant because I am allowing myself to be stagnant.

are we there yet


Let me explain.

I am 80-20 in just about every aspect of my life. Alex tends to disagree with me on this, and on the surface you all may as well, but I see myself as someone who gives 100% of myself for 80% of a project/timeline, but it’s that last 20% where I fall apart. It is my safety mechanism, my way of protecting myself from getting too involved, too caught up, too invested, and too (potentially) heartbroken if things don’t work out.

So I pull a Zoe and Hide

So I pull a Zoe and Hide


There were so many times in the past that I gave 100% of myself, I took it to the limit one mooooree tiiiiiiiiimmmmmeeeeeeeee only to then have the other side not live up to their side of the bargain. Sometimes it was my body–we know I have trust issues with it. Sometimes it was school–you know how I feel about it, and how hard I worked to get over feelings of regret. Sometimes it was even riding–I am dealing with a living animal and subjective judging, no matter how perfect I was, there was only so much I could do. 

So I give myself a 20% safety net. I work as hard as I can for 80% of the time, and then I pull back for the last 20%. And I said as much in my comment to Carla. 

Ok, now let’s look at Post 1, about setting SMART goals. Why did this hit me so hard?

I may be thinking about my macro and micro goals, but I am writing to do lists, not setting goals. Or maybe I was setting some goals, but not making plans. As we have heard so many times, “a goal without a plan is simply a wish.”


To-do lists are safe: you can pick and choose and control what goes next to those check boxes and then feel accomplished as you tick off the arbitrarily chosen tasks. You can take that post-it note and toss it when those tasks are complete. They are safe. They offer an escape. 

Setting GOALS

Goals, however, and planning for your goals are scary and tempestuous prospects that should make you wee yourself a little bit. I could pull out any number of inspirational quotes here, but I’m gonna narrow it down to but a few: if it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you. There will never be a right time; the time to start is now. I could go on and on and on. 

I truly do think that the time is now. Though I am figuring out where I am going, I know who I am, I know where I came from and what I stand for, and I know that I get to decide when the beginning of my story is. 

You Can Beginning of Story Dealing With Anxiety Suzlyfe

So at the top of my to-do list for this week? 

  • Determine my goals.
  • Make them SMART.
  • Make a plan for achieving each of my SMART goals
  • Decide a timeline and priority ranking.
  • Line them up in my life accordingly.
  • Take that first step.
Mizuno Wave Enigma Fibish Line is more about the Start

Take that First step

This time? There is no skipping around in the order. I can’t cross one off just for the sake of doing so. If I’ve reached this fork in the road, well, give me a steak knife so I can cut into the meat of the situation and figure out what is at the core. It might need to cook a little bit more. But if I never turn on the heat and determine a game plan, at best I will have a piece of raw protein with no seasoning. 

And that gets me nowhere.

a goal is a dream with a plan and a deadline goal quote

Time to have a plan, Stan. 

Are you setting #goals or just making lists? #sweatpink #fitfluential #fitfam via @suzlyfe Click To Tweet

Have you ever thought you were working towards something only to realize that you were just treading water?

What is a post or a saying that has knocked you off your feet recently?

Do you find comfort in to-do lists because they help you attack your life or because they allow you to escape?

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