Ready, set, go? Not so fast, where or what are you setting off to go or to do? Are you focused on the right goal? Setting goals is not a straightforward, static one-time activity. To be successful in achieving your goals it is important to constantly review, redefine and refine them!

Traditionally we have all heard about the SMART approach to setting and getting to your goals:

SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-bound) goal setting concept presented on blackboard with colorful crumpled sticky notes and white chalk handwriting

But lets challenge this SMART approach so that it is more relevant for this day and age and redefine what it means to be smarter in todays environment. Now more than ever, we need to be mindful of how we go about being smarter.

Regardless if we are setting personal goals related to health, finances, relationships or self-development or organizational goals related to growing and transforming our company, the process is the same. As we go about articulating our goals before we go or do anything lets make sure they follow the new SMARTER guidelines as listed below.

Goals must be:

Spectacular – Goals should be life affirming, uplifting. Unless they inspire and excite you, you will loose interest and never gain any momentum when it comes to actually achieving them. The inspiration that comes from spectacular goals has the power to keep you motivated and moving towards your goals!

Meaningful – Is your goal something that is important to you and enriches your life? If not then why expend any precious energy on it. If your goals have meaning and will enhance your life then you will have the required desire and hunger to make it happen. The meaningfulness will create a sense of purpose and help you set the intent to create results.

Aligned with who you are and your values – setting out to do something that goes against the grain of your true self will create friction and resistance that will prevent you from getting to the finish line. When your goals are aligned there is a special magic that happens and things fall into place seemingly effortlessly, like an invisible force moving you forward towards your goal.

Rewarding – for goals to keep and maintain your full attention they need to be full filling. They need to not only bring you joy but also result in you gaining something that you have always wanted but haven’t had a chance to do or get to yet. Your goals must be something that provides you with an incentive to fuel the persistence required. Having your goals be rewarding enables you to stick with it and see it through to the very end.

Transformational – goals need to alter your current state. After all you are setting goals to make adjustments to where you are now and to take you to a new level of being. The goal itself must result in making a positive difference in your life. Goals define and establish the metamorphosis that must take place.

Empowering – anything you strive to achieve needs to be something that enables you to grow and brings out the best in you. A goal is empowering if it forces you to tap into your inner strengths and results in expanding your sphere or influence.

Remarkable – goals need to have a wow factor! When you write your goal down on paper or read it out loud you want it to stand out and be noteworthy. Goals must attract and command your attention. Set goals that are remarkably amazing and you will be committed 200% to making them a reality.

When you embark on setting goals, take a long hard look at yourself and your life. Are you who you want to be and where you want to be? If not here are some steps to help with setting your goals:

  • Take some time for reflection and identify the areas you want to improve on or the things/outcomes you want to accomplish
  • Create a plan – take it through the new SMARTER test and then if it passes the test – go for it!
  • Work the plan – time management systems out there find one that works for you. Calendars, To Do lists, sticky notes, etc. what ever it takes to help remind you of the tasks related to your end goal.
  • Don’t give up. Keep at it. If one approach doesn’t work refine the approach Keep going and keep growing until you succeed.

A key reminder is to remember that obstacles that you encounter on the way to achieving your goals actually DO have a purpose. The purpose of obstacles is to test your commitment, resolve and your dedication to the goal and to getting it done. Another purpose of obstacles is to challenge you to look at your goal in a different way so as to inspire creativity! If the obstacles stop you in your tracks then perhaps your goal was not a lofty one and you need to consider redefining it using the new SMARTER approach.

Lastly, make sure to give yourself a timeframe for your goals. There is nothing that beats a deadline for getting things done. To quote Nolan Bushnell, one of the founding fathers of the video game industry – “The ultimate inspiration is the deadline”. Stay tuned for more on that in my next blog. 


Goals – a Hiaku

Ready, set, go – move forward

Propel yourself toward compelling crafted smarter goals

Eagerly watching your world change


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