I’m sure you have all heard about setting goals that are “SMART”: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-Bound. It’s an incredibly effective way to set a goal as it keeps you accountable: it is realistic, it has a deadline, you first have to make sure it is attainable and within your abilities, and you must have a way to measure your success (or lack thereof).
However, some people have issues with SMART goals. They find them constraining and un-motivating as it does not leave room for the big life goals that move us forward. Goals that are not specific are incredibly motivating. Goals like: Become an expert on XX, Be a Famous Fiction Author, etc. These types of goals are necessary to give life passion, a fire – to propel you forward. The goal many not be measurable enough, but it feels amazing to have such a goal. That is where the REACH goal comes in.
A Reach goal is an ultimate end goal that moves you. It need not have a deadline or even be terribly specific, but it must motivate you – it has to get you going every day. It has to make you want it. And it is that drive that is often missing from the SMART goal, which often makes life just seem like an endless to do list. So, to make your goals more effective, couple SMART goals with a Reach goal.
This is what you do:
Find a life goal that motivates you
You can have more than one, but definitely less than 10. Usually 5 reach goals are enough for a lifetime. These are the goals you want to have accomplished by the end of your life. These are the goals you will the most proud. These are the goals to fuel you.
Write the reach goals down – and look at them every day
It’s easy to think that with such motivating goals, you’d constantly be reminded of them, right? But it’s actually pretty easy to forget our reach goals. It’s very easy that during the chaos of everyday life we get caught up in the motions and completely forget the goals that will move us to greatness. So write them down, and look at them. Every day. This is the motivation part.
Pick a couple of SMART goals for each Reach goal
Most people can easily pick a couple of reach goals. What is hard is making them happen and that is where the SMART goals come in. It’s now time to write down the goals that will get you to take action. Go to your list of reach goals and under each of them, write down a couple of SMART goals that will help propel you forward. Follow the directions and make them Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-Bound.
Write the SMART goals down – and look at them every day
Your SMART goals will change constantly while your reach goals will remain the same. As you accomplish one SMART goal after another, you will add a new goal to the list. I recommend you carry a piece of paper where there is plenty of room to add and cross out your SMART goals as you go along, but not too big where it will be difficult to carry. Look at this list daily.
Make each goal work for you
The purpose of the reach goal is to motivate you. So when you look at the paper with the goals, imagine yourself attaining the reach goal. Visualize how amazing it will be to achieve the goal. Think of how good it will feel. Believe in your ability to accomplish the reach goal. Let it fuel and drive you. Feel the goal running through your veins.
Then, look at the SMART goal and let them guide you and narrow your focus. Make plans around the SMART goals, commit yourself to them. Believe you are capable of achieving these goals. Write any necessary steps in your daily to-do list. Look at the SMART goals constantly to make sure you’re on the right track.
Let the reach goals fuel you and then let the SMART goals take the wheel to drive you forward.
The more you visualize yourself achieving the reach goal, the more you believe you can do it, the more your life will steer in that direction. The more you focus on achieving the SMART goals, the more you guarantee the reach goals will happen, and the more motivated you will become to continue doing more.
So if you find yourself demotivated by your SMART goals, it’s time to think up some reach goals. If you find yourself constantly day dreaming about achievement but never getting any work done, it’s time to pick some SMART goals. If you combine both, your goal-achieving ability will be unstoppable!
Featured photo credit: flick user: Rachel Kramer via flickr.com