Goals Aren’t Enough if They Aren’t SMART

Insights» Business Development

March 1, 2018by Anthony Geraci

I have to admit something. I was never a huge fan of Alice in Wonderland. The story was great and all, but the Cheshire Cat… I think someone was high when they wrote the cat in. Even so, it has one of the most impactful quotes to me in my life. It goes a little something like this:

“Would you tell me please, which way I ought to go from here?” Alice asked.
“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat.
“I don’t much care where-“ said Alice “Then it doesn’t matter which way you go”
“-so long as I get somewhere,” Alice added as an explanation.

I often talk to people and literally the response I get is “I don’t know what I want to (do/go/fill in the blank).” While figuring out where you want to eat could take awhile, what about what you want to do with your life? I can tell you, if you aim at nothing, you are bound to hit it. So what do you want to do with your life? Do you want to be a top athlete? The best at your career? Whatever it is, the only way to achieve anything in life is to set goals.

How to Set Goals
As silly as this may seem, have you ever thought about how to truly set goals? Have you set them and then wonder how they’re not achieved? Let’s dive in a bit.

Are Your Goals Dumb or Smart?
How do you set your goals? “I want to be thinner” “I want to be promoted.” “I want to be Chewbacca.” While these goals are great, what do you think the chances are that they will be achieved? My guess – likely 0. In order to achieve them, you need to change your goals from dumb, i.e. nonspecific and likely not achievable, to SMART.

How can you make them smart? Let’s break these down with an example:

SPECIFIC
Let’s take that you want to be thinner. Is thinner specific?
Great. Next.

MEASURABLE
How about measurable? How will you know when you’ve reached it? Can you achieve “thinner?” Depends. What does “thinner” look like? Welp, let’s set the goal at 75 pounds, changing the goal from “I want to be thinner” to “I want to lose 75 pounds.” Will you know when you’ve reached it, now? Absolutely.

ACHIEVABLE
Is it in your power to achieve? Sure. You could exercise and eat less, right? You have the ability to lose weight. What if a medical condition prevents you from this? Then likely it’s not achievable. If not, you should look at your goal and try to change it to fit your reality.

REALISTIC
Is losing 75 pounds realistic? Possibly. We don’t know when you want to accomplish this by, so if it’s a longer period of time, it is realistic. But if you want to lose 75 pounds in a week, that’s not very realistic (tape worms, etc excluded from this analysis!)

TIMELY
When do you want to accomplish your goal by? If you want to lose 75 pounds in a week, then go back to realistic. If, however, you want to lose 75 pounds in 1 year, then it is definitely realistic and timely.

So, the final goal, would be “I want to lose 75 pounds by 1/5/2019.” Is that SMART? YES! A shortcut to this, then, would be “From X, To Y, By Z” Putting the goal another way, you could say “I want to go from 400 pounds to 325 pounds by 1/5/2019” and it is SMART.

What goals can you set SMARTly? What will you accomplish? 2018 is a brand new year. If you’re searching for that one person that will change your life, take a look in the mirror.

To your success in 2018, Anthony