Are SMART goals smart?

“Let today be the day you stop having conflict between your actions and your goals and finally align your greatest intent with your purposeful actions, creating a universal symphony serenading your success!”
― Steve Maraboli

Having a well defined set of SMART goals was at one time a great thing to do.    SMART goals are defined as “specific”, “measurable”, “attainable”, “realistic” and “time bound”.   It was a way to frame an objective and provide a way of making progress.   Now, some believe that SMART goals aren’t described in such a way that they would create a breakthrough outcome.   SMART goals are designed to be safe goals, goals that are realistic and attainable that have a measure of value and progress.   Is it time to break the rules?

Progress is made when we push the boundaries and go beyond what is expected.   SMART goals may push the envelope but they also keep us inside the box.   SMART goals are designed to minimize risk and increase the chance of success.   Minimizing risk means not taking the necessary and sufficient risk to create something new.    SMART goals may mean SAFE goals, and is that what you really want if  you are intending on making substantial change?   Of course not.

A recent report suggests that there are other factors that drive people to change or create change.    A list of eight factors:

1. Picturing the end result – ( a visual image of a result)

2. Learning new skills to accomplish the goal   (growth)

3. The goal is necessary  (urgency and importance)

4. Creating own goals    (ownership and empowerment)

5. Access to training to accomplish the goals   (resources)

6. Pushed outside of the box   (risk)

7. Benefits go beyond self    (significance)

8. Goals align with objectives  (purpose)

It seems that goals need to be purposeful, significant, involve risk, with access to resources, have personal ownership, create growth and are clear.   Of course those don’t ideas don’t spell out some easy to remember word.

I

Goals create change and that is often resisted in favor of comfort.

In organizations the idea of risk taking isn’t promoted.   If a risk that is taken doesn’t provide a positive result then it is assumed that the time, effort, and materials were lost.   Maybe that is why small companies take risks, many risks to hit on a great result.   Experimenting and getting an answer quickly may be more useful.

What would help you achieve great things?

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2 responses to “Are SMART goals smart?

  1. Pingback: Goals Without Means Are Meaningless « Lean Execution – Intelligent Metrics

  2. Pingback: Settings Goals « Diary of a Personal Trainer

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