Having chosen my three words for this year, I want to have some goals that will spur me on so I’ve been investigating various objective-setting tools. The first one that springs to mind is SMART. Love them or hate them, SMART goals have become a part of our professional vocabulary. If it’s not Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound, then what kind of goal is it? Well, depending on who you’re talking to, maybe your goals will be SMARTER, PRISM, SMARTIE, C-SMART, GREAT, PURE or SCAMP.
Clearly there are many methodologies out there to help us set goals. Have a look at some of them, try them out, see what works for you. I haven’t quite made my mind up which one I’m going to use. However, whilst thinking about them, I’ve come to the conclusion that I definitely don’t want STUPID goals.
For me, for a goal to be STUPID, it would be the following:
S: Someone else’s. If it’s a goal that I feel someone else is imposing on me, I’m probably never going to buy into it. I need to generate my own goals and engage with them fully.
T: Tired. Do I keep putting this objective on my list and persist in never actually getting there? Do I have to blow the dust off it to even remind myself of what it was all about in the first place? I should just bin it now and replace it with something more relevant.
U: Unspoken. I need the accountability of having these objectives made public knowledge: that might be to my line manager, a colleague, my coach, my best friend. Maybe it will be to you. Having shared those objectives with someone who can check back in with me, I won’t conveniently ‘forget’ about them, neglect them or just re-write them to suit my mood.
P: Pointless. What’s this objective for? What will I be able to do once I’ve achieved it? Is that useful? How will I feel when I’ve accomplished it? Is that beneficial?
I: Impossible. Whilst some people feel that SMART objectives can result in setting the bar too low, particularly when linked to bonus schemes, setting the bar unattainably high is setting myself up for disappointment. There’s no way I can run a marathon next week: if I really wanted to and thoroughly committed to it, I could work towards running in a marathon next year (let me assure you that this is definitely not one of my objectives!). A goal that stretches you is good: one that snaps you in two – not so good.
D: Disconnected. For me, I need my goals to be aligned with my values. As I set my objectives, how are they contributing to those concepts which are important to me? If I think specifically of the three words I’ve chosen for this year, I ask myself: how does this work with my desire for community or abundance or creativity?
That’s my take on objective-setting. How about you?
Today’s pebble for you:
Are your goals SMART, STUPID or something else entirely?
Turning over pebbles is the blog of Thinking Space Coaching.
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