JKLTip Take inventory of your goals. Do you put so much pressure on yourself to reach that specific goal that it actually gets in the way?
Smart goals are making me madder every day. If you are trying to learn mindfulness or anything for that matter, it can help to recite a saying. Repeat after me. “No past no future”. When learning, stay in the moment as much as possible.
I’ve got a hate on for goals right now and here’s why. We often tell people to implement “SMART” goals. Smart, in this case, stands for specific, measurable, attainable realistic and timed. I see it constantly that this drives people to dream too small.
At scale, people settle for less than they are capable of. I see it all the time, especially for youth trying to learn something new. They would be more fulfilled from striving towards something great, in their passion area. Instead, they choose to be realistic and measure their chances, ultimately giving up.
Goals Are Bad For Trying To Learn
Thinking about a goal, past or future immediately takes you out of the present moment. It is impossible to both be present and think of your goal. Many people benefit from understanding Eckhart Tolle’s “Power of Now“.
Understanding that the most important thing we can do to stay mentally healthy is to stay in the present goes a long way. But, the terms present, live in the moment, or mindfulness get thrown around a lot these days. While beneficial to our well being, we do many things counterproductive to making it actually happen.
When I set goals with students to help them break through barriers and build their career paths I see the same challenges over and over. It is important to set goals because it gives us something to shoot for. It gives us plan A if you will.
Throughout the journey, we should strive toward an initial goal, while appreciating that it is important sometimes to switch to plan b, c, or d. Frankly, you may even need to access a plan represented by the rest of the alphabet by the time you figure it out.
Why Not SMART Goals?
Anyone who says they use SMART goals to boost confidence has not fully established an appreciation for failure as the opportunity. On the flip side, if we instead focus on building a big beautiful wall, anxiety kicks in, leading to paralysis by analysis, or being a DNB as Rhonda would say.
Everyone is different, but everyone can set goals, so long as they focus on the process, not the results. If someone can’t do that, then for the time being it’s more important to not have a goal. So, right now I am working on some goals, but do remember they will change. And, that’s ok!