Why SMART goals are actually the stupidest method for goal setting and the method for goal setting that actually WORKS

Why SMART goals are actually the stupidest method for goal setting and the method for goal setting that actually WORKS

 

2015

Since the beginning of time (or at least since personal development and goals etc become the most popular buzz-words around) people jumped on the S.M.A.R.T goals bandwagon and have been flogging it ever since. In school, in the fitness industry and in any workplace training situation as well as countless others – you can pretty much guarantee someone will bring up the importance of SMART goals.

 

Now here is where the problem lies. And before I launch into the problems that you may have experienced trying to set  and IMPLEMENT SMART goals, let me say that they DO have a use, as I will explain later, but it isn’t for those who intend to live a life outside of the norm. For those happy to settle into what life gives them with just a few comfortable additions here and there, those who choose fitting in over standing out, there is a place for these goals, cause truth be told – that is EXACTLY who they were invented for.

 

But what if that isn’t you? What if you are the 1% ?

 

What if mediocre and fitting in and not pushing the envelope TERRIFY you much more than the risks taken to achieve a life few even dare to dream of?

Well then my dear – you have been RIPPED OFF being told that SMART goal setting is the way that you will get there. Wasted time and effort. Feeling annoyed?

Well here comes the good news – the turnaround for someone like you once you STOP buying into the masses goal setting technique is SUPER FAST. Like immediate.

 

But hold up for just a moment – I know you’re curious, but you naturally want to know first – what the hell is actually wrong with SMART goals?

 

Lets start at S – Specific. Trust the masses to shut down all hope of growth and imagination right at the first letter. THEY say specific is good – if you don’t make your goal SUPER clear and identifiable down the last minute detail, you will fail. What the 1 percenters know is that getting laser focused on ONE SINGLE OUTCOME is a guaranteed disaster when you are talking about dreams and goals that lie outside the usual sphere. Talk to any hugely successful man or woman in their chosen field and lifestyle and they will tell you that almost EVERY success they ever had was not on their original plan. They had to come at it with the end in mind – and trust that the journey there would work itself out.

 

For example their goals of their dream body, house, lifestyle, career – they had to focus on where it was all going but not on the EXACT house, EXACT body fat percentage or EXACT job at the EXACT firm. Cause what happens when you achieve that goal? Do you suddenly feel happy and contented and that you can NOW be satisified? Of course not, that’s a total lie. And if you don’t achieve that SPECIFIC goal of say losing exactly 10kg? Then are you a failure and have to suffer and eat your way back to square one? Sounds moronic but the sad truth is that is EXACTLY what most of us do – because we are PROGRAMMED to believe that that single specific goal is all that matters and anything less is just not good enough. What a great way to ensure you set yourself up for failure and rebound. Specific is not what you need – a specific vision of what you want is what will get you there, not a pre-set and defined goal that will at best mean nothing when it is achieved and at worst set you on a cycle of fail/beat yourself up/start again.

 

Ok – Measurable. This again relates to being specific – if you set a specific goal of 10kg weight loss, then you can measure that by weighing yourself. Dah!

Let’s keep this short – what happens when your goal is tied to a number on a scale that can vary based on HUNDREDS of reasons not all of which are under your constant control? Yep – you feel like a failure. Beat yourself up. Back to square one. I will cover how a goal can (and does need to be) still measurable later, but not in this way.

 

Achievable? Realistic? Oh dear, these two letters are basically one and the same and the number one letters that grind my goat. What the hell does that even mean?

 

That somehow there are goals that exist that CANNOT be achieved? Really?

 

This kind of limited thinking is exactly what the masses eat up – because their friends and family and media dictate what is “achievable” or “realistic” for them, and there lies their limit.

“Oh you can lose 10kg but probably not more than that because you are big boned and your mum/sister/long lost pet iguana has always been a bit bigger so it’s just how you will be to. Genetics.”

 

Let me tell you something – what is REALISTIC is determined by the masses by what has already been done. As if the world and society has not been built on the history of people who have done things that OTHERS NEVER DID and that is why we now know the world is not flat, enjoy our food heated up in microwaves and “just google it” is not mumbo jumbo but a phrase that almost everyone understands.

 

The world is FULL of examples of people and goals that were NOT realistic, and in the minds of others around them were NOT achievable. But hey they did it anyway – lucky them right?

 

Not so much. What is realistic is self-determined – stop letting others tell you otherwise.

When someone says that isn’t realistic or achievable – THEY MEAN FOR THEM.

 

And of course Timed. Ah yes, Timed. Cause if 6 months from now rolls around and that scale doesn’t show 10kg then you have FAILED. Mhm. Big fat failure. Go eat your sorrows away.

I think you get the drift. So let me tell you how your GOAL SETTING should look if you actually want to achieve stuff, ACHIEVE EVEN MORE stuff than you could imagine, and have it be a cycle of constant SUCCESS without the beating yourself up and starting again bit.

 

Firstly let’s get really UNSPECIFIC. Let’s say your goal is to lose 10kg. Or it was – and now you need to upgrade that goal to something that actually works. Well what do you really want? What will losing 10kg actually give you? Cause I guarantee you it isn’t the joy of stepping onto a scale and having the numbers 10kg less come up to show your mass is now 10kg less. How do I know that? Well because if it was then you would have already thought of other ways to make that goal easier – ie cut off a limb. If that was truly absolutely all that you desired and wanted – that option WOULD have crossed your mind.

But it’s not what you want – you want something else.

 

YOU WANT WHAT 10KG LESS MEANS TO YOU.

 

And what it means can be different for everyone. For me my weight loss meant a feeling of lightness, freedom, sexiness and power. I felt I could do and be anything. I wanted to buy any clothes and know that basically anything looked good. Never worry about a roll or a lump. Eat good food effortlessly and not even desire junk. To feel like I was living up to my worth – that my outside was equal to my inside strength.

All that stuff had NOTHING to do with the scale, obviously. What a dumb goal.

But that stuff is specific – and THAT is the stuff that made me commit to the goal. Not 10kg less on a scale. Seriously – what does a piece of plastic and metal mean to me? Nothing. What does the way I feel within myself and see myself? EVERYTHING.

 

So get specific – but not about what you want – but ABOUT WHAT GETTING WHAT YOU WANT MEANS TO YOU.

 

What about measuring? Making sure your goal is realistic? (cause heaven forbid you should stretch yourself too far and fail – failure is the ultimate fear right?) No, much better to settle for something less, attainable, approved by others.

 

Those who succeed on a GRANT scale – the one percenters JUST LIKE YOU make a habit of OFTEN and CONSISTENLY setting HUGE goals that are nowhere near realistic and SCARE THE HELL out of them because they have no idea how they will achieve them.

 

See that word? HOW? Not IF.

HOW.

 

Cause guess what is no longer your enemy? Failure.

Failure is not infact a thing – it is a word that people invented to keep the masses in check – if you set a goal and you fail well…you probably didn’t set it SMART. Go back and aim a little lower. And then lower again….

 

Those who succeed know that if something doesn’t work the first time what they have is a VERY VALUABLE LESSON – one that if they learn from they can increase their chance of success next try – OR realise that they are going for the wrong goal after all and RE-DIRECT.

Oh and not timing your goals? The best thing you can do. Because guess what put a time limit does? It sets you up for two failures – one is that you can’t do it sooner than that time cause your mind is so focused on that end date. And the other is if you don’t succeed by set time then you have… that’s right… FAILED.

But you need to set a time or you won’t get a rocket up your but to do it right? Yep – so here it is – NOW.

 

Your goal is being achieved NOW.

 

The moment you decide to do it, it is already there. You are already that slim, healthy, vibrant girl who effortlessly eats to nourish and for who junk food is just an occasional indulgence. You become that person IMMEDIATELY with your mind – then the rest just follows. No you don’t physically lose the 10kg in that moment – but you do in your mind. And that means your goal will happen just as soon as it possibly can. Maybe in 6 months, or  maybe in 3, or 2. But why set a limit of having to take a whole 6 months to do something you could have done in 3?

 

Finally – get rid of all ideas about what is realistic or achievable. That is NOT a thing – it is an OPINION. So it is time to raise your opinion about what you are capable of.

The most successful among us have always set huge goals well above anything they could truly be specific or timed about. And along the way they had MANY LESSONS, and they continued. And what they reached was so far above even their loftiest goals. And definitely EONS above what anyone considered “realistic”. So they wanted to earn 1 million this year and they only earned $750,00? Boo hoo. Better than their first realistic goal of $100,000.

So they wanted to be lean enough to do a fitness model comp by the end of the year and instead they achieved their dream body by June and then decided they don’t want to compete and instead got a photo shoot and went on a dream holiday for a month to enjoy their body in a bikini? Yeah – boohoo.

 

Your goals will always change, grow, do complete u-turns and there will be a lifetime of LESSONS.

But remember it is about finding your way to the HOW and not being stuck on the IF.

 

You will find a way if you believe hard enough that you must – if you believe a failure is the end then it will be.

So time to push aside those SMART goals and doing what is “right” and start setting some LOFTY goals and start doing what you REALLY WANT.

 

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