SMART Goals are fine for doing tasks, but awful for setting life goals, because they are impersonal.
If you want to set the best life goals, then the IMPACT Goalsetting system is best, because it puts what you value at the heart of your goals.
- Come to the next IMPACT Goal workshop to find out how
What are SMART Goals?
You may have heard of S.M.A.R.T. goals, because it is probably the most widely known acronym when setting goals.
It has become part of the everyday lexicon in business, with people asking, “Is your goal SMART?”
So, what are SMART Goals?
There are variants of what S.M.A.R.T. stands for, though the most common and perhaps the original being Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timebound.
Alternatives include changing Achievable to Attainable (which seem the same to me) or Assignable (which is useful when managing people), Realistic to Relevant (which is an improvement) and Timebound to Timely (I’m not sure what the difference is).
There is no doubt that this simple, memorable acronym is a useful tool for setting tactical goals in business.
It can also be useful for setting practical goals at home or for any tactical goal that has a clear, measurable outcome, such as a monetary value or finishing a task.
What is wrong with SMART Goals?
There is something missing in “SMART” when it comes to setting life goals.
It is the “why”.
Without knowing why you are doing something, you lack the motivation to do it.
You need to be clear why you are putting time and effort into something.
Life is short – and busy – and you want to make the most of your time.
Understanding your personal “why” – your reason d’être – is about understanding your core values.
This is key to helping you through a difficult time or to pull yourself out of a mess.
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 core values – your own personal “why” – gives you conviction as well as direction.
You could add “Y” to the end of SMART to make SMARTY.
The problem is it means putting “why” at the end of your goalsetting process, when your goals be fully aligned with your core values.
Life goals should be based on your “why”.
The first step when setting life goals to deal with a change or crisis is to integrate your goals with your values.
That is why the IMPACT Goalsetting method is superior when setting life goals.
- Come to the next IMPACT Goal training course to find out how to set the best life goals to deal with change or crisis.