SMART Goals are great for tactical or practical, short term goals, but what about long-term, life goals?

If you would like to find out how to set goals that have a real impact on your life, then come to the next IMPACT Goal workshop:

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Smart goals

Smart goals are fine for a short term goal like doing a Tough Mudder…

What are SMART Goals?

You may have heard of “SMART goals”, because it is probably the most widely known acronym in goal setting.

It has become part of the everyday lexicon at work, with people asking, “Is your goal SMART?”

There are variants of what it stands for, though the most common and perhaps the original being that it stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timebound.

Alternatives include changing Achievable to Attainable (which seem the same to me), Realistic to Relevant (which is an improvement) and Timebound to Timely (so what?).

There is no doubt that this simple, memorable acronym is a useful tool for setting tactical goals in a business setting.

I use it frequently. It can also be useful for setting practical goals at home or for any goal that has a clear, measurable outcome, such as a monetary value or finishing a task.

“Why” SMART Goals don’t always work

I feel that there is something missing in “SMART” when it comes to setting goals that help us live our dreams, rescue us from a crisis or develop our personal relationships. It is the “why”.

Without knowing why we are doing something, we lack the motivation to do it. That is not to say we are lazy; generally, people are not.

We just need to be clear why we are putting time and effort into something.

Life is short – and busy – and we want to make the most of our time.

Missing values

Understanding your personal “why” is about understanding your core values.

This can be critical to help give you the focus necessary to get over a challenge or pull yourself out of a crisis.

Crises are often caused by a conflict of values and expectations, in ourselves and in others.

Being in a crisis can lead to feeling overwhelmed.

This in turn can result in you lacking direction, being rudderless.

Having a clear sense of your “why”, your core values, gives you conviction as well as direction.

“Why” is so fundamental, because it is the engine that drives us towards achieving our goals, so is the launchpad for our aspirations.

If you would like to find out why IMPACT Goals are so great to life goals, come to the next IMPACT Goal workshop or get in touch:

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