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SMART Goals Are for Dummies

by Don Current on February 28, 2011

For Dummies

photo courtesy East Branch of the Dayton Metro Library

You’ve heard of SMART goals, haven’t you? Specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely are the words that make up the acronym. When you develop goals, you are supposed to keep these factors in mind. I think you’re wasting your time if you do.

Before the lynch mobs arrive, let me explain myself. I do agree that goals need to be specific and measurable if you expect them to accomplish anything. Too many people create these fluffy goals that are too easy to just claim you’ve achieved them. There needs to be a specific purpose and a measurable result so that you know for sure if you have or have not reached the goal.

Goals also need to have a time limit set. If you don’t set a specific time, it’s easy to let the activity drag on and on without ever reaching a conclusion. Set a date, and then push yourself to achieve it.

It’s the achievable and realistic portion that I disagree with. There are two reasons I disagree with this.

First of all, I believe we need to stretch ourselves. You don’t want to set a goal that is too easily reached. We need to push ourselves and not set an easy goal just so we can put ¬†a check mark in the box. We are better off to establish a lofty goal and then miss it by a little, then to achieve an easy goal that is well within reach.

The other factor I believe realistic goals miss is the “God factor”. I believe we will reach far greater ¬†heights if we set goals that we cannot achieve on our own and leave room for God to work.

So set Specific, Measurable, and Timely goals, and then stretch yourself and your faith so that you can reach new heights.

Any other factors you can think of that we should include when goal setting?