Why SMART Goals aren’t always smart…
By now, everyone’s heard of the SMART goal, right? In order to set a proper goal, it has to meet the SMART criteria:
SMART goals are great for smaller goals, but they don’t always help you get where you’re going if your dreams are big.
For one, it doesn’t exactly help you develop a plan to achieve your goal. For another, it forgets about motivation and purpose- two critical pieces to finishing especially demanding goals. And last, but not least, just what is an “attainable” goal, anyway? I mean, I could say, “I’m going to hike up Mt. Everest on foot before my 45th birthday.” Is it possible? Sure… anything’s possible… But I’m definitely not in any position to climb Mt. Everest today and I have no idea what it would take to change that. Moreover, since there are only 24 hours in a day, what would I have to stop doing in order to make time to do whatever I’d need to do? Am I willing to do it? Hmmm. Maybe, maybe not.
So, what now?
Remember that SMART goals were meant to be a starting point
There are different ways to break down those big goals into smaller goals. Here’s one that I’ve been using this year. It’s a modified mind map. Feel free to borrow the idea.
“Do not wait; the time will never be ‘just right.’ Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be found as you go along.” — Napoleon Hill
Don’t forget to share your dreams!
Studies show that sharing your goals with others increases your likelihood of following through. You obtain support, positive reinforcement, and build relationships by talking about your goals and encouraging others to do the same. It’s also easy to put off taking action when nobody else knows you’re working toward something. It’s a lot tougher to hide when people are asking you about your progress.
By documenting the pursuit of goals in a public manner, we can establish accountability (or find people to call us out on our BS) and also get some support. It’s tough to make changes, but even tougher if you don’t have a support system. If you are in need of a supportive community, please join the discussion in our Facebook group.