SMART goals; you're stupid!By Dr Gemma Munro | Sep 04, 12 10:56 AM
SMART goals don't get you out of bed each morning!
Over the last decade or so, we have been lured into the understandable trap of placing our faith in the acronym-ic allure and sheer commonsense of SMART goals. No longer is goal-setting a mystery; we need only find a goal that is specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-based to ensure we reach it. Here’s the big fat problem, though. Are you inspired by SMART goals? Do realistic and achievable goals get your blood pumping and your heart thumping? Does ‘Lose 3kg by November’ make you want to jump out of bed and throw on your fencing gear? I’m betting on “no”.
I coach a number of inspired people. I also coach some clients who initially describe themselves as bored, listless and unmotivated. Here’s the difference between the two groups. The inspired people are not driven by SMART goals. They are driven by big, bold, beautiful visions; visions that are most often totally unrealistic, completely unmeasurable and ambitious rather than achievable.
A great many people wake up each morning with the need to push themselves to achieve their goals. This push-push-push makes everyday living and working a bit of a struggle; we feel tired, then listless, then unmotivated. The inspired people I know feel as though they are literally pulled out of bed each day by a vision that is so compelling – often because it is unspecific, unmeasurable and unrealistic – that life and work feel (mostly) easy and breezy, and most definitely fun.
Going to the moon wasn’t a SMART goal, and neither was ending apartheid. Solving climate change is certainly not a SMART goal – and my goals for my business Inkling are so unSMART that I daren’t say them aloud to anyone outside of my immediate circle. But do they pull me out of bed in the morning? By golly they do.
So to hell with SMART goals. Let’s go for STRETCH goals instead
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Gemma Munro is the Director of Inkling Coaching, based in Adelaide Australia. She has a PhD in performance psychology and extensive experience working with leaders to maximise their enjoyment and success. Inkling Coaching works with individuals, groups and executive teams, and specialises in women’s leadership development. Outside of Inkling, Gemma has two small children, a large husband and a medium-sized vegie patch that demands attention. She sings, when she can, and likes to play – and win – 500.