Smart Goals, is not smart enough...

Everybody has heard about the SMART acronym for goals, and it's been repeated so much that it's almost perceived as a promise of yielding success no matter how challenging goals are, no matter your life circumstances.  SMART basically states that Goals should be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-targeted.  

 

 

Full Lives

The fact is that everyone is so busy, it's challenging to make time for new or revisited goals, even when they are well-defined.  While we all want to be healthy, work in a rewarding position and have a rich personal and family life, all these facets of our lives are competing for time and attention.  
 
One approach that can yield real benefits is to review and write down the aspects of your life you want to balance, and then to map your goals to one or more of these facets. This really brings home clarity of purpopse. This should also correctly reflect your personal values. 
 
 

Getting things done

Planning.  Knowing clearly the various aspects of your life you need to balance will bring a crisper vision of where you want to be, but how will you get there is the next key thing.  Just like a pilot needs to clearly define his destination, know what competing aspects of gravity and wind and weight he will have to overcome to get there, he never takes-off without a plan, a clear breakdown of the main actions he will take with his crew. 

Habits.  Similarly, we need to think about planning for success, and for that, positive Habits have been proven key to changing ourselves and reaching goals.  By positive I mean two things:  First, habits should be creating with a constructive frame of mind, where each habit, done a few times a week, will yield real progress towards your goals.  Secondly, Habits should be growth oriented and constructed as to be stimulating and pleasant.  Sure there may be negative, unpleasant or tough aspects to these habits, but the focus, the intent, even how you name the habit should be positive so that you can, gradually, feel better and better, more in control and satisfied by your progress.

Tracking.   Yout got your objectives set, you are taking regular action towards those, but are you making progress? Are you even going in the right direction???  This is about the measurable aspect of SMART, defining how to determine if you are making progress.  In most cases, you can find one or more things you can measure, it's just a matter of being imaginative and covering different aspects.  There may be a certain amount of money to be earned, pounds to be lost, customers to be gained, it could even be about feeling good most of the time.  No matter what, creating your own indicators and keeping track of them can really show you if you are on track to reaching your goal before your target date. Once you are measuring your performance regularly, graphs are especially useful to visualize the progress and take it in.  

Performance Monitoring.  Graphs and reports always serve a double purpose of getting motivated by what is progressing well, and also learning what is not moving along as it should.  One goal will rarely be about tracking only one thing, just as money is not the only indicator for hapiness, or the number of books read directly showing how much smarter you have become.  

 

Success and Enjoyment