Tag Archives: SMART goals

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.

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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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New Year … new goals …

This is the time of year people start putting together a plan for the New Year.   The old year may not have been the year that was remarkable in any shape, so now, this New Year is a time to start over, start with a clean slate (tabula rasa).  

What will make this year different than the last one?    What new goals will you create and really carry out not just for a month or two but for the whole year?

What new powerful goals are you ready to put forth?   Who is going to hold you accountable for getting results?    Who will let be accountable for holding you to results?   How important are those goals to you?

On a scale of 1 to 10 (1 being very low to none – 10 well defined and living them)

___  I am a person with goals and I sincerely desire to advance towards my goals.

___  I value learning, growing and contributing and taking action in my life.

___  I am continuously developing and nurturing relationships.

___  I believe in who I am and my ability to make positive change in my life.

____  I am willing to stop behaviors that limit my success.

____  I am confident that I can make the changes I desire in my life.

____  I am focused and driven towards my success.

____  I celebrate my successes

_____ I am loved and give love willingly.

_____ I am enjoying my life, I am happy to be alive.

Total up the number of points.   How did you do?   If you scored less than 80 then you might be feeling like there is an opportunity to live a better life.   If you scored over 80, what changes would allow you to live even a better life? 

As a starting place create a strategy for obtaining the goals you desire.   Start with a mission statement that defines what your unique purpose is.   What are you really trying to achieve?   What will enable you to sustain a passion for over a period of time?

Next define some goals, perhaps stair step goals that allow you to take the big goal and break it down into manageable pieces at a size that advances you without creating discouragement.      If the goal is weight loss do a little each week, and focus on the small step rather than trying to make the big goal happen quickly.

After you have your goals written down and well defined (what does success look like?) then define the action steps necessary to realize those goals.

Goal: 

Action step:  ( a small step to towards the goal)

Success is:  (what is a successful result)

Started:  (the date you started)

Realized: (the day you reached the goal)

Celebration: (what you will do to celebrate)

Accountability Partner: (Who can support you in your quest to success, someone that won’t judge your progress)

For each goal outline the steps you’ll take to realize those goals.   A popular method for creating a goal is to use the SMART process.

SPECIFIC:  What is the specific goal, so a general goal I want to lose weight needs to be defined as a number; I desire to lose 20 lbs in 4 months.
MEASURABLE:  The goal statement specified 20 lbs, so yes it is measurable.

ACTIONABLE:  It is possible to lose 20 lbs in four months, that would be 5 lbs a month, so if that is doable, then, yes!

REALISTIC:  5 lbs a month, is that something that you could do, about a pound a week.  Is that “realistic”, then yes!

TIME BOUND:  In 4 months to lose 20 lbs … that is the time to accomplish the goal.

If the Measurable, Actionable, Realistic and Time bound question are able to be answered with a “Yes” then the goal can be achieved.  If an answer is “No”, what would it take to make it a “Yes”.  Sometimes it requires rewording of the goal to contain measurable and time based objectives.

When you achieve your goal, find a way to celebrate that success.   Cheer yourself to greater to success.

When do you start?   TODAY … why wait another moment to live the life you been dreaming about.  Start living your life with intention, the intention of being fully 100% the person you were meant to be.

The steps

  1. Create a mission statement for your life.
  2. Create goals that support your mission.
  3. Break down the goals into smaller actionable steps
  4. Take action, start doing and reaching.
  5. Celebrate your success
  6. Grab the next goal and repeat the cycle.

Keep a journal of your progress and you’ll be surprised by how many positive changes you can make in a year.

“Goals.There’s not telling what you can do when you get inspired by them. There’s no telling what you can do when you believe in them. There’s no telling what will happen when you act upon them.”
Jim Rohn

Be SMART

Setting Goals that matter

There are techniques that are somewhat popular for establishing realistic goals.   One of the techniques follows the acronym call SMART.   SMART goals have five components (as you could guess).

S, Specific, the goal must be well defined, not large.

M, Measurable, how are you going to measure the results/outcome.

A, Actionable, can it be done

R, Relevant, does it make sense to do.

T, Timely, a specific date/time in which the goal will be completed.

 

This is just a process to nudge your thinking a bit so that realizable goals can be achieved.   One of the big items on the list is “measurable” what are you going to do to make sure you are making adequate progress towards the goal.   The axiom “you can’t manage what you don’t measure” holds true.   Part of goal setting is managing the progress or lack of progress that is being made.

Many people start the New Year off with some resolutions, I RESOLVE to do X before the end of the year.   What happens is that X might be too big to accomplish, or it might not be measurable, or actionable (too many other things get in the way of getting the goal accomplished), the goal was relevant and the timeframe wasn’t realistic.

One of the best ways for success is to start small and get easy and early victories.   Set the goal so that it is attainable (which is sometimes used for the letter A in SMART).   Why start with a huge goal when what you really need are small successes (people are encouraged by making progress).   Celebrate the small successes with rewards that are meaningful (and hopefully ones that don’t compromise the initial goal).

Work hard, work steady, work consistently, and work with courage.

The goal is yours!