Happy New Year. With the season of goal setting upon us, I thought this blog would be worthy of reposting in the hope that it aids you in your goal setting.
Goals can represent something we are not doing, something we should be doing, or even something that currently seems impossible. Even when we set goals, most of us abandon them long before the ink is dry.
So here we sit…last year’s goals are long forgotten and we find ourselves stuck in the land of lost dreams and hopeless aspirations. Allow me to offer a glimmer of hope I believe will make your goals last longer than a snowflake on a Caribbean beach at high noon. You may have heard of setting SMART goals. SMART is an acronym for how to define better goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time Bound). I won’t elaborate here on the elements of this method, but you can find many references on the web.
I have found that even well written SMART goals can be discarded and abandoned faster than a politicians campaign promise. WHY? I believe that SMART goals are missing something. That is why I added “ER” to SMART to create SMARTER© goals. My frustration with SMART goals has been two fold.
First they lack purpose. I can set the best goal in the world, but what if I don’t care? Without purpose and meaning, they don’t drive my action. The addition of “E” in SMARTER© goals refers to Energizing. If there is nothing that lights my fire, then I am more likely to abandon that goal. For example, I have had plenty of revenue growth goals, but why would I care about making someone else more money? My purpose, the things that might “light me up” about revenue growth include having money to invest in myself or others, building a business I am proud of, working on things I really want to work on. The question to answer in your “E” is WHY DO YOU care. Add that to your goals and you have lit the fuse.
The second problem I have with SMART goals is the “A” which stands for Achievable. Wait a minute. What about BHAG’s (Big Hairy Audacious Goals). On one side, if I sign up for a BHAG, I am now accountable to that. Then when it looks like I am going to miss my BHAG, I give up. The flip side is when I make my goal so achievable; it is already achieved before I start the year. That is the sandbagging approach. So then I ask why even set the goal.
The “R” in SMARTER© stands for Reaching. Having a goal that is achievable, but also has a reach helps allow for that stretch without sabotaging myself in the process. By defining an “R” I can start to break glass, stretch my imagination, and challenge my thinking. By having my achievable and reach goals called out separately, it gives me room to grow without sabotaging myself before I begin.
Start this year by setting your SMARTER© goals. Start by naming your goal. Then create bullet items that come to mind as you work through the SMARTER© algorithm. Go through your bullets and now write your goal in a SMARTER© way. Give it a try. I am doing that now and feeling energized that this is the year I see them through. Email me your SMARTER© goals at [email protected], I would love to read them.