Self-Limiting SMART Goals

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During a virtual coffee call, the host asked for help with SMART goals. And it’s that time of year when we start to think about what we want to accomplish in the New Year.

I had some thoughts on this subject…

SMART goals were rammed down my military throat for 15 years and didn’t mean a thing to me.  In fact, we were advised (because our line managers hadn’t prepped us properly) in the run up to our annual appraisals to set our SMART goals for the year just gone, so that our reports aligned. We did them retrospectively, so that everyone look amazing!!!  

What a crock of shit??? I my honest opinion.

SPECIFIC – Ok I am down with that.

MEASURABLE – Ok, sometimes, I’m a bit on the fence on that one, time and place for me.

AGREED – Ummm, they are my goals so yeah that’s a given. More appropriate elsewhere.

REALISTIC – Says who?

TIME bound – Really? I don’t think Possibility keeps a schedule.

SMART is ok, but I believe it’s important to acknowledge it has its limits. It can only be applied to one thing at a time and may be more appropriate in teams or big organisational settings.  But I still think there is a better way and one that can be more appropriate for you and your aspirations. There’s loads out there to choose from if you search. And

I was introduced to a framework that feels much more instinctive to me.  Particularly when you have multiple project going on.  And this framework enables you to connect the dots and create your Huge Unbelievably Great Goal (HUGG), from the ground up. Credit to the Art of Brilliance for that one.

If someone is asking or even insisting you create SMART goals, it might be worth asking them why?  Are they trying to steer their own agenda? Keep you thinking small, because when you do hit a SMART goal – is it validating you, or them?  How might they also fear HUGGs and don’t know any other way?  

The great thing about HUGGs is you can make them infinite.  That pinnacle might not even be possible in your lifetime, so does that mean you can’t try?  Hell’s No!!!  Because along the way you will meet others, have an impact on them and the goal persists.

I do get the frustration.  some people love structure and would be lost without it.  Others find the structure most off-putting and it causes them to feel stuck.  So how might you find what works for you?

I will always champion testing and trying things out to see what works for you. Charlie Gilkey might help here with Start Finishing. Or Atomic Habits form James Clear.  

And another one I know is to make a list of 20-25 things you want to do.  Pick the top five and go do those.  Everything else on that list becomes the Things to Avoid List.  And I mean AVOID – leave them alone.  If you want one them in the top five, something else has to drop off.  Only when you finish one can another take its place.  I did this and from time to time review it.  One thing I noticed was there are somethings on the avoid list that have not made it to the top five. And more importantly, never will make it to the top five and have now been relegated to the trash because they became irrelevant.  Imagine how I would be feeling now if I had spent a butt load of time on something that now serves no purpose!

Equally, if someone had said to me this time last year, you will make a video explaining an idea, you will say kind and insightful words and then send it to the folks at Simon Sinek, I would have laughed until I fell off my seat.  I would not have seen that goal coming… It hit me square in the face and I had the balls to hit the send button.  It hasn’t amounted to anything tangible yet… But I will always have my pride.  Pride in my work and pride in my self, just because I had the guts to do it.  And that is the best thing I can ask of my self.


Shipping Nowcast update

The other celebration is the publication of my fiction novel. I had given myself until Spring 2021, but thanks to the support of my coach and the allies in my network, I got it finished. Wahooooo!!!!! And not a SMART goal in sight 😉

Now it’s your turn to tell me…

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