I think virtually all training I have ever done seems to bring along SMART Goals … Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timebound and yes they do work for achieving tasks but what about what the task relates to – the big picture? The Dream?
SMART confines your thinking, but Dream goals? these are the game changers, the ones that put the man on the moon. The ones that at face value seem unrealistic, unachievable these are the ones that are compelling you, link into your core beliefs and are important to you.
For example saying ‘I want to lose 10 pounds by February’ yes that’s a lovely SMART goal, but how does it make you feel? It focuses on loss, it’s small and once achieved will most likely slip off the radar and you’ll go back to square one. What about instead focusing on ‘I want to be in the best shape of my life so that I feel amazing and have boundless energy’ this is a compelling driver and what will get you out of bed to do the morning HIIT session. Once the Dream goal is identified you can then create SMART goals to achieve it, in this example ‘I will work out 3 times a week’, creating a habit that will move you towards your dream. Working towards Dream Goals requires dedication, focus, work and commitment, Smart goals can be ticked off the list with a lot less effort.
The difficult thing with Dream goals is that if you share them with others you’ll often be ridiculed, ‘you can’t do that’, ‘that’s stupid’, ‘who do you think you are’, people laughing at you. Society generally conditions us to think small, and someone putting their head up above the parapet inevitably gets shot at. This is because making changes in yourself shakes up those around you, it takes away their excuses for their own dissatisfaction and failure; and it can be really hard to deal with, especially when it comes from our nearest and dearest. It takes a lot of internal strength to make big changes, which most people don’t have, leading to most people playing small. If you get successful, or try to better yourself you will get haters, and people trying to drag you down, but this is all about them and not about you.
Forming habits over the long term is what gets you to where you want to be, continuous small acts of incremental progress, building towards the bigger picture of the Dream. The trouble is, creating a new habit is hard, it takes between 21 and 66 days to form a new habit depending on which research you follow, and that’s a lot of time, it takes a lot of willpower to break out of the old ways and move to the new. And when you couple this with outside influences questioning what you are doing and why, it because really difficult and that’s why change is so hard. So that’s why you need the Dream goal above the SMART ones – that’s the one that keeps you focused and moving. Stick to your own path, run your own race. It’s your life not theirs so live it.