I am sure you have heard how important it is to set goals! You may have even heard of the Harvard Study that discovered the 3% of graduates with clearly defined written goals earned in excess of the other 97% of graduates put together.
You may have even set SMART goals!
If you are a big dreamer like me, SMART goals can be a a bit of a downer because they encourage us to be realistic. Sometimes, I don’t want to be realistic. Sometimes I want to dream the impossible! BIG goals inspire me to new heights and make me feel ALIVE!
What is a SMART goal?
SMART is an acronym that helps you set clear, specific, measurable goals.
S = Simple and Specific.
The key here is clarity. Your dreams may be far from simple, but within these big dreams are small goals. This helps to keep you on track and keep your action focused.
M = Measurable and Meaningful
How will you know when you have reached your goal? What will it look like, sound like, feel like? SMART goals are often used for concrete things – a car, house, a new job. These things are relatively easy to measure. You either have them or your don’t!
Some goals, especially in artistic or creative fields don’t fit so neatly in boxes. This is a limitation of a SMART goal. Here’s the secret. Regardless of the goal, you are chasing a feeling! How do you want to FEEL when you reach your goal? Identify that feeling and you can find numerous ways of ‘capturing that feeling’ along the way.
If your goals and dreams aren’t meaningful to you, change them! Time is precious and so are you. 🙂
A = As if now
When you write goals express them as if they are here right now. It is Christmas 2015… When goals are written in present tense you connect with the feeling and images in this moment. Your mind cannot tell the difference between imagination and reality, so visualise your goals in as much detail as you can!
R = Realistic
This is the conundrum of SMART goals. You need realistic reachable steps to give you a sense of achievement along the way AND if you only ever aim for realistic you are limiting your possibilities. Those big soul stirring goals can forgotten because in this moment they feel unachieveable.
Mediocrity is over rated. We NEED goals that scare us, that stretch us, that light us up! Rather than aiming for what other people deem acceptable, go for what you REALLY want. Dream BIG!
That said, dreaming big is not enough. Action is essential. Nurture that big dream inside of you while achieving smaller ‘realistic’ steps along the way.
That leads us to T = Timed. Set deadlines for the smaller goals. That gives you something to aim for.
Be warned, setting deadlines for your big heart stopping dream can lead to frustration. The Universe is mysterious. There will be many surprises. It is who you become along that way that is the biggest gift.
I propose an amendment to the good old SMART goals! It is time to RAISE YOUR EXPECTATIONS. Choose to live a REMARKABLE life. Yes, set realistic small steps AND have your big dream a REFLECTION of the life your truly want to live!