I have a problem with goals. It’s not that I don’t have successes or savor my achievements, I just think goal-setting in the linear model isn’t a one-size-fits-all scenario. To even have goals in the first place, we must dream big. But big goals? That’s not going to work. I also have a problem with A, B, and yes, C goals, which I’ll cover at the end of this breathless rant.
This will probably challenge your thinking a bit, so I hope you’ll play along.
You’ve likely encountered the acronym for SMART goals: specific, measurable, attainable, relative, timely (or time-BOUND… ack). And if your goals are not SMART enough, you’re dumb. We’re going about this all wrong.
Let’s look at it this way — a DOGMA, if you will: dynamic, observational, growth, monitor, authentic.
Way to really personalize the goals process, right? Because goal-setting shouldn’t be about over-qualifying and dialing in the specificity so much that we turn ourselves into obsessive-compulsive robots. Also, I hate the word measurable — you are not a stat; you are a human being. SMART goals might work for businesses, but you are not being publicly traded (I hope). You might not be able to determine a beginning and an end, but aren’t goals meant to be built on top of previous successes? There’s something that I read recently — I think it was on Humans of New York — about a man who was so focused on climbing Everest and reaching the summit that he never stopped to experience the process or the experience leading up to his adventure. When things went wrong, as they’re wont to do, and he didn’t reach the top, his dream was left unfulfilled and he was left… empty. As though he accomplished nothing. YEARS of life felt like a waste because he could not attain that end-point.
That’s not how goals should be. (After some growth, he now knows it too.)
We need goals; we also need to dream big, otherwise life would probably get kind of boring.
My DOGMA (yes, I made this up) is accepting of change, reliant on support of others while being perceptive, a positive learning experience alongside a process of development; goals that you require you to be in tune with your sense of self, your values, your fears, and your needs (it’s always about the needs!) and listening to your mind and body while reviewing your progress. This isn’t (and shouldn’t be) about what others want for you. These are YOUR principles.
For that matter, these are mine. And those are the tenets of my goal-setting process. I should probably write a book about them.
Side note: A, B, and C goals ARE SETTING YOU UP TO FAIL. Or to be really, really mediocre. Who wants to be mediocre? No, you want to feel accomplished, and that emotion only happens when you attain to that A goal. THE MAIN GOAL. B and C are complacency goals that give you clearance for fucking up. Which, THAT’S OK TOO. I will be in that line to tell you that failing is good. You know what failure is? Authenticity. A motivator. Drive to try again. NOT SETTLING. Changing things up. But you should never go head-first into a goal by placing tiers of failure.
How do you set and manage your dreams and goals?
This post is part of this month’s Blogger, May I? and today’s prompt is A Big Dream/Goal.
Additional reading: Narrow misses can propel us towards other rewards and goals