Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-based goals. That is a S.M.A.R.T. goal. Throughout high school, community college, business school, various internships, and at current and past jobs, everyone has told me to make my goals S.M.A.R.T. To them I said no thanks.
From an ROI standpoint and for analytical purposes, Yes I agree that this does make sense so you can track and measure what you set out to do. A digital marketing campaign needs a goal that can be measured so a team can push, measure and react accordingly in the future, based off of budgets spent in the past and revenues made in the present. But for a personal goal, may it be weight-loss or building a small business, I feel as though this mentality is restricting (the reason for my refusal).
If you are too specific with your goals, you’ll have rigid boundaries restricting you from adaptation.
Entrepreneurs that have goals too specific to a certain action, can give up on their original plan without weighing their options and maybe taking a different angle on their business. By broadening your goal in the beginning, I feel as though you can adapt, overcome past closed doors, and then hone in on successful specifics.
We were taught from grade school to reach for the stars!. I think making a goal attainable leads to thinking inside the box and setting modest goals which leads to an exact finishing point for your success. If you over-inflate your goals, you could find yourself greatly exceeding your modest goals and having motivation to push for even further success. This may also boost your creativity. Common sense is a factor that plays into this as well however. Don’t go out saying that you read a blog that says you can lose 50 pounds if your goal is to lose 200. Come on now. Be a little realistic. Especially when setting health goals of course.
I guess in closing, I would say to make your goals slightly realistic without specifics, attainability, and a time-line restricting you. Who knows how creative you can get with this mindset. I believe it was Robert H. Schuller who originally said, “What goals would you be setting for yourself if you knew you couldn’t fail?”
If you could attain anything, and had endless time, what would you do? Now put it on paper and see how far it takes you.