I’ve written about goal setting for years. I’ve tried many different goal setting techniques and have provided a number of goal setting tools. I’ve created a goal worksheet and other printables. Here are some of the things I’ve found over time.
1. SMART Goals were obviously written by some controlling corporate type, who wanted to get his workers to produce more without causing trouble or costing him money. I mean, just look at the words used…
- Specific: Do what I say. I need to know specifically what you are going to do. I can just see your boss micro-managing this one. I told you to do 1A-step c, not 1B-step d…
- Manageable: Don’t ask me to help you with this or provide resources. This probably came from the board room. We don’t want to spend any money on this. We need the numbers without spending a dime.
- Achievable: Make sure somebody actually has done this before. This probably came down from the left brained CFO bean counter. We don’t want any creativity here. Just do the damn boring work the way we say it has to be done!
Realistic: I’m sure this was added by the middle management team as a scapegoat. Don’t expect miracles here people. Hey, we got to add in coffee breaks, long lunches, and traffic. Certainly don’t ask for more than a 5% improvement.
- Timely: This obviously was added by the H.R. department. You know we can’t have these guys working overtime and we need to make sure we figure in vacations, mandatory meetings, and of course, the annual retreat. Better bump the deadline back a month or two.
Hmmm… something seems to be missing. We got all this corporate mumbo jumbo, but there is no “Action” step here. You mean we actually have to DO something to get results??
Maybe that’s why when I did an informal survey, SMART Goals had a dismal 53% success rate. Just swapping out the word Achievable with the word Action, might make a difference.
2. SMART Goals seem to be plagued with problems. Goal setters report problems with…
- Procrastination: Workers seem to want to do almost anything except work on their goal-oriented tasks
- Willpower: There seems to be a hidden enemy that saps energy and focus. Workers report they don’t have enough willpower to stay on track.
- Stress: Having an additional “sales or performance goal” adds stress. Not achieving it adds even more.
So if SMART Goals are problematic, what will work?
What should you do if you actually want to achieve something?
I pondered that question for a while and decided to write a short book about it.
The Shocking Truth About Goal Setting
This book starts with the inherent problems of SMART Goals and offers a variety of solutions. By combining goal setting with the latest research in willpower and habit change, I came up with an easy to implement solution that allows you to take action, without the usual procrastination and willpower challenges.
The Acronym is SMARTER and you can implement it quickly and easily in many different environments. It’s designed to work better with the way our minds actually process data.
For those of you who really want to make a difference, I’ve included two chapters on IMPACT Goals. One is setup for personal goals, the other when you want to change the world.
IMPACT Goals are not easy, and require more time and effort, along with a coach or mentor. But when you really want to get something done, they provide results.
The book includes example situations with Bob and Sally, a fictional duo that will better explain how the different goal setting tools work and the pros and cons of each system.
Goals For Life is available in the Kindle store and can be downloaded in just minutes. (This book can be read on your computer, iPad, or Smartphone with a free downloadable Kindle reader) It includes 8 different goal setting sheets to match your individual needs. From basic SMART goals to SMARTER ones, and all the way up to IMPACT goals, you’ll find tools here to make your dreams come true.
The Goals for Life book includes a helpful goal worksheet that will help you set SMARTER Goals. The goal worksheet is set up to guide you through the goal setting process and help you create goals based on existing habits. You’ll find this type of goal much easier to accomplish in the long run.