The Power to create Change is within You.
Work Smarter, not Harder is an adage coined by Allen F. Morgenstern in the 1930s, but the concept has been around much longer. And while this statement may seem to have the final authority on progress in general, nothing is further from the truth.. Mark Murphy wrote an article in (‘SMART’ Goals Can Sometimes Be Dumb (forbes.com)
In it he prescribes that which opposes the Achievable and Realistic part of the S.M.A.R.T goals. He suggests that it should be better known as HARD goals. Several surveys led him to conclude that there is a small percentage of people that have found success using SMART goals.
However, there is a great number of people especially in management circles that say they have benefited from these very same goals. Here is a link to an interview of Dr.Doran, the founder of SMART Goals and the manner in which the term was coined https://youtu.be/7LWbCqjLE-I
Smart goals are a great key to unlock Success
There is little evidence to suggest that those who applied the S.M.A.R.T goals to their own business have failed miserably. They have not been able to get the shackles of mediocrity off themselves is a fallacy.
S.M.A.R.T goals are principally everywhere. You find them applied in multinationals companies, business outlets, law firms, retail, coaching industry, aviation industry, educational institutions, management. And I would not be surprised if politicians use them too, even if simply in theory. What about SMART goals drive us to be devoted and use it as a mantra to success? It is worth finding out.
As I said earlier that this should not be considered as the final authority on progress and success and must also not be nullified as something not worth trying. S.M.A.R.T goals in its original form are an acronym for – Specific, Measurable, Assignable, Realistic and Time Related. Experiencing its positive impact, the acronym has come to mean different things for different people in different settings. The SMART goals are constantly evolving, and the positives outweigh the challenges. What significance do the goals we set have and how does it serve the purpose of growth and success?
No goal, should be oversimplified, but it must be thought through well enough to pursue it. We must commit to the goals we set. To reduce SMART goals just to memory or a future prospect, even a version of success will get us nowhere. It must be thought through, explored, balanced with hard work and spiced with a sense of urgency.
What are S.M.A.R.T. Goals:
S- Specific: Your goals must be clear and specific. You must crease out the blurs and focus on the goal at hand. Give room to explore the challenges, the advantages, the growth, the mindset, and mindsight required to create specific goals. Always keep the army of 5W’s at hand – The WHAT, The WHY, The WHO, The WHERE and, The WHICH?
The What: What do you want to accomplish with the goal at hand? What will this goal give you?
The Why: Why is this goal important to you? Why is it worth the investment?
The Who: Who will you journey along with on this journey of significance? Who will your support system be?
The Where: Where can you see these specific goals leading you too? Where are these goals going to take you?
The WHICH: Which tools do you have at your disposal to assist you in your goals?
M- Measurable: “If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.” – Martin Luther King. Jr.
The point Dr. Luther was making is Progress towards anything can be small and insignificant, but if there is no shift in focus you will get there. Success must be measured to track progress which in turn keeps you motivated. Measurable goals helps you meet deadlines and keeps your positive in achieving your goals.
A-Assignable/Achievable: What value can you assign to the goal at hand. A value that is significant and viable, that will help you focus solely on the outcome. It must be the thing of value that stretches you and yet does not break you. Something that is of such great worth that you can assign resources, both human and otherwise. Is the Goal achievable with the challenges that you are bound to face? These goals must have an answer to the questions: What can benefit me/disadvantage me from achieving the goals? What resources I can put on hold considering the time frame and focus on the goal itself?
R- Realistic/Relevant – In the opinion of many this is often the drawback of the SMART goals. Can realistic goals have a good chance to dampen the ability to raise the bar in the things that one can achieve. Should we just put a lid on the goals and look at it just at face value or are we willing to stretch and attain the impossible. In one sense realistic goals are important if they keep you focussed and can see clearly where you should draw the line and where you can push forward. Are your goals relevant to your business needs or personal choices? Do they keep up to the values you hold and long-term objectives? These are important questions to be asked again before venturing out to achieve them. “To live in reality is to keep an eye on the impossible, and to live in the impossible is to draw curtains on reality.” Either way, the choice is ours.
T-Time bound: It is crucial to have an idea of the time frame for goals to be met. To put goals out on an endless line will get you nowhere. To have them stretched out beyond any time frame is to literally douse them with complacency and incompetence. The reason it is important to have a time frame within which you can accomplish goals you have set, is to grant you motivation and that comes through prioritization.
If your goal has not been achieved within the time frame that you have chosen, it could be for several reasons. Perhaps, your goal was then unrealistic, it could have been an unreal time frame, and maybe prioritization was the issue. Whatever, the reason, remember that you not achieving a goal is not an indicator that you have failed. It maybe a good time to regroup your ideas, rethink your goals and reframe your time to see success and achieve that which you have set out to accomplish.
“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” C.S.Lewis
The author of these words is Lewis, is still in doubt, but truth is, the statement holds enough power for any to read it, accept it, and internalise it. And it is this desire to pursue one more goal, or that goal just once more. To set a dream, beyond the fantasies of the mind and built in the concrete will of the heart. It is goals that we set and goals that we fulfil. The S.M.A.R.T goals are just a guiding light to show us the way. What we choose to do with that light is a personal choice and a decision only we can make.
S.M.A.R.T goals mut help you live smart. It is not the smart who always win or the hardworking who always achieve success. I believe the combination of – Hardwork and SMART goals will lead you to a life of success. My former Principal Dr. Ronald Shaw once said “SUCCESS is spelt – H.A.R.D.W.O.R.K.”
There is no easy way to get around to success or short cuts to attain fame. It is the setting of goals that pave the way to take the first step to a fulfilling life. The S.M.A.R.T. goals will ignite you with purpose and give you a laser sharp focus to accomplish all you desire.
5 must read books to get you started:
- Godin, Seth. The Dip_ A little book that teaches you when to Quit and when to Stick.
“A woodpecker can tap twenty times on a thousand trees and get nowhere but stay busy. Or he can tap twenty-thousand times on one tree and get dinner.”
- David, Susan. Emotional Agility_ Get unstuck, Embrace Change and thrive in Work and Life.
“People frequently die in fires or crash landings because they try to escape through the same door they used when they entered.” ― Susan David, Emotional Agility: Get Unstuck, Embrace Change, and Thrive in Work and Life Emotional Agility Quotes by Susan David (goodreads.com)
- Peters, Steve. Chimp Paradox_ How our Impulses and Emotions can determine Success and Happiness and how we can control them.
“When you decide to do something, remind yourself that it is commitment not motivation that matters.”― Steve Peters, The Chimp Paradox: The Acclaimed Mind Management Programme to Help You Achieve Success, Confidence and Happiness. The Chimp Paradox Quotes by Steve Peters (goodreads.com)
- Goleman, Daniel. Focus_ The Hidden Driver of Excellence.
- Mason,John. An Enemy called Average.
“It is always better to fail in doing something than to excel at doing nothing.”― John Mason, An Enemy Called Average An Enemy Called Average Quotes by John Mason (goodreads.com)