Do you make this fatal mistake in setting goals?

by Daniel Batten on June 21, 2010

You have probably heard of SMART goal-setting.  SMART stands for Systematic, measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timebound.

What you probably don’t know is that only about 10% of the population naturally warm to this technique: those who already have the mindset of a project manager.

I never used SMART goal setting in my life. As it turns out, neither do most disruptive thinkers, thought-leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs. In fact, were they to have used this technique, it is highly unlikely they would ever have achieved their goal. Why?

Because different personality types need to approach goal-setting differently.

Most people make the fatal mistake either of trying to make SMART goal-setting work for them if it just doesn’t resonate – or they abandon all goalsetting because this one flavor of goal-setting wasn’t palatable. That’s like giving food because you don’t like broccoli. A fatal mistake … that most people make.

SMART is good match for the 10% of the population who are strongly directive and analytical.

If that’s not  you though, you will need a more fluid approach. Also, if you are a very creative thinker, you will do better to set an “unrealistic” goal. Because those goals captivate the imagination more. And imagination is the rocket-fuel you need to get there.

Certainly make sure your goals are specific though. That bit is important no matter who you are. And certainly for some goals, you can put a date on it.

Remember that it has been proven people underestimate what they can achieve in five years, and overestimate what they can achieve in one year, so put in some nice juicy five year goals – and ease up on yourself a little in the first year. If its no fun getting there, you’ve missed the whole point.

The most important thing about a goal is not what you get to have, but who you get to become.

There is an even deeper secret. And that is that there are 5 levels to manifestation of goals – and traditional goal-setting techniques are only the 2nd level.

More on that another time.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

juliet June 22, 2010 at 10:04 pm

I like it. SMART hasn’t worked for me either; I’ve ended up feeling DUMB. But following the trail of inspiration, that does it.

Frazer June 23, 2010 at 4:13 pm

The most important thing is to have a goal. I have found that once you set a goal that you truly wish to achieve, your actions and behaviour will align naturally. The timeframe is also important, otherwise you will not be incented to act now. Without a true belief in your goal and a timeframe that is realistic, it will become one of those “get around to it” things that never happen. Lastly, you have to have a plan – a goal without a plan is just a dream after all. I have found real power in myself whenever I have approached something in this way. A goal is simply setting a place in your life that you wish to get to. If life is a journey, then goals are the points on the map of life that determine where you want to go. It is pretty hard to know what to do, if you don’t know where it is you want go.

Daring Donna June 23, 2010 at 7:26 pm

Daniel you know I love you and love how you are putting it out there for people to get over the structures that tie us into struggle, pain and bordem yep pee for creative thinkers. I give great love to the 10% who truely like setting SMART goals I am with you 100% you go for it. In all my years of training it always came down to ease, grace and joy – if I am pushing shit up hill why bother!!!
Two operating systems are available to us on the market at present – Love or Fear. Only two how cool is that and better still we get to choose which operating system we put into our vechicle – yep pee. Blessed are we to be aliveeeeee.
I have no goals and boy am I achieving both in the 3rd dimenision, 4th, 5 th, 6 th …….
Bring on the operating system of love and may we imprint it onto our children so that the scarcity model becomes abundant, peace crtl delete war, fun crtl delete struggle …..
Bring on a human family in their true power and truth.
Have I told you lately Daniel you rock and you and I both know that miracles happen every moment when operating in love – ps love is very practical and powerful dont be scared of it but if you do be scared of it make a good job of it.


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