The SMART Way to Set Goals

Did you know that you may have been taught how to set goals wrong your entire life?

Most people have been taught the SMART Goal setting process. SMART is an acronym that stands for:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Realistic
  • Time Table

However, there is a problem with setting your goals this way. There is a word in this SMART Goals acronym that feels like nails on a chalkboard to me and that word is REALISTIC.

What exactly does the word realistic mean? Your version of realistic is probably different than my definition of realistic and it’s probably different from everybody else’s version of realistic.

The word Achievable in the SMART Goal setting process is similar to the word Realistic, so I knock out the word Realistic and replace it with the word REACH.

You will often not Reach your goals if you are goal setting appropriately.

This might sound a little crazy and you’re probably thinking,

“What’s the point of goal setting if you’re not going to reach your goals?”

I believe that you should be constantly reaching for things that are just outside of your grasp in order to keep you moving towards your goal.

For example: If you are a pole vaulter, you should always set the bar just a little higher than what you are able to achieve.

Goal setting is about helping you think differently. When you think differently it can help you achieve a different set of outcomes, which may lead to bigger and better results that you are after.

A good mentor and friend of mine, Mac Newton, says that setting a goal is like putting it at the end of the hallway and as you walk down that hallway, more doors will open up either on the left or the right. Every time you open a new door and look down that hallway you have to decide if that goal is better than the goal you were already after.

Goal setting is designed to get you in motion and as new goals present themselves, you might need to change your goals. People who set goals correctly don’t reach them because they find that there are new and better goals. This is what gets them in motion and moving to where they want to go.

So my advice for you is to not fall into the trap of setting realistic goals because it will set you up to fail. This will only allow you to achieve things that you already think is possible.

If you think it’s possible, then it’s not really a goal, it’s just an action item that is on your to-do list.

I hope this has been helpful for you. In the comment section below say REACH because I want you to change the word realistic to reach.

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Have an awesome week and set some amazing goals!