Why SMART Goals can be destructive:
Many coaches, including myself, talk about SMART Goals and the importance of drafting goals in a SMART way in order to be successful and make the goals a reality. Are SMART Goals always a winning formula for success? Are SMART Goals actually smart? Or is it worthless?
My take on SMART Goals is that they are an outline, a guide, and a way to get you started on your goals. Using the SMART goals system and using it as a tool, gives you a starting point on what to focus on, how to be specific, narrow down on your measurable results and get to know and prioritize on the most important items that you are drafting. Because of the way SMART Goals are done, you are able to get started on your goals and move forward from there. Let’s just say that SMART Goals allow you to start with an idea and turn it into a goal.
What comes next?
Definitely SMART goals can help you get started, but most importantly, it is about opening up to the abundance of life, believing in yourself and knowing that you have to work hard to make things happen. SMART Goals is a way to start thinking and get to the next level.
Once you write everything down, then you can start finding those motivations and clarity of your goals that will motivate you to keep you moving forward. That motivation is the momentum that you need to keep climbing the ladder for success.
Then, what do I do after?
Creating positive habits that will get you closer to your goals, changing your mindset from a mindset of not achieving to achieving and celebrating accomplishments, acknowledging and having confidence in your accomplishments and being thankful for everything you have reached. You move forward by actually implementing the steps that you have set forward, and having a clear path of where to go.
SMART Goals is a great way to get started, but what is important is that you know that in goal setting drafting out your goals is the first step. Actually writing down – with pen and paper – gets your mind thinking about your goals. Research has shown that writing down your goals gives you a higher probability of reaching those goals. That is why it is so important to write down those goals, to know exactly what you want and how to achieve it. But, there is more to goal achievement…
Ok, so how are SMART Goals destructive?
Very simple, when you do not carry on and act on those steps, SMART goals can be destructive because you think you have an idea of the goal you want to reach. You have done an amazing job; you have drafted the goals correctly. You have been specific in drafting the goal, you have measured exactly what you need, they are achievable, realistic and timely – all of the characteristics of SMART- however, you forget about the rest.
For example, what about all of the others:
Habits and Mindset – improving habits and mindset in order to reach those goals
Motivations – forgetting about those reasons why you drafted those goals in the first place and coming up with new motivations and driving forces that keep you on task.
Thankful – forgetting the core reason of everything you have and using that as momentum to carry on and improving your thankful capacity.
Actions – carrying out those action steps that you need in order to get to your destination.
Review and Plan – having SMART goals is great, but you need to review and plan each and every day in order to be successful.
Accomplishments – carrying on those accomplishments that you are slowly achieving. Every step is a step in the right direction.
Discomfort – knowing that the feeling of discomfort is a good feeling when one is working hard to reach his/her goals.
These are just some examples of those different characteristics that you must implement in addition to SMART Goals. It is not enough to just write things down; one must make a conscious effort to just make things happen. For that reason, when people write down their goals in a SMART way, they think that they have completed the task and their goals will come true.
Well, that is exactly the problem. The small satisfaction that one receives from writing down SMART goals obscures the discomfort that is needed in order to reach our goals. Do you think it is comfortable to face adversity each and every day? Is it comfortable to feel the pain and the feeling of hardships and difficulties? Take for example an Olympic or professional athlete, do you think it is comfortable to train each and every day? No matter what injuries one has, no matter what is going on in your life. This feeling becomes more than just a goal; it becomes a way of life. No, it is not comfortable, but too often we forget that the other characteristics of our goals are as important, if not more important than SMART Goals. For that reason, SMART Goals can be destructive and instead of generating a positive feeling of accomplishment can generate a negative feeling of defeat.
Now, I challenge you – write down those SMART Goals, but don’t stop there. Keep moving ahead and realize that there is more to goal achievement and goal setting than just writing things down. Defy the body, mind and spirit and implement the steps in your mind and physical actions in order to be successful. If you believe you can do it, then anything is possible. Remember, there is always a way to make things happen. ALWAYS! We live in a world when the impossible becomes possible. You just have to know that everything will work out and go out and make things happen.