What is it about goal-setting that unnerves me? The exercise is paralyzing, the final product dispiriting. Let me share my agony with you. I’m going to use the ever-popular SMART method.
Specific: Here is the who, what, where and why of the goal. Here is the core. The foundation. The point. Here is where I usually ask, “What’s the point?” Already I am shutting down.
Measurable: This is the unit of measurement and quantity of units. This is how you can tell if you have or haven’t — as the case may be — reached your goal. Not lose some weight, but lose 10 pounds. Not save a bunch of money, but save 100 dollars. Units are easy. Quantity is touchy. Too few, and it seems fruitless. Too many and it’s unattainable. Which brings us to the A in SMART.
Attainable: Here is where you figure out how to make it happen. This looks great on paper, but come Monday, it’s going to look like recycling.
Realistic: What am I both willing and able to achieve? As a child I was told, as so many kids are, that I could be anything I want to be. I consider myself a realist. I suppose I was born that way. I always knew I was never competing in the Olympics, walking the Miss Universe runway, or being inaugurated for the presidency of the United States. Mom and Dad were either full of it or got the wrong kid at the hospital. Realistic? Chances are, I’m going to bite without getting too much to chew.
Timely: Make a timeframe. When is this going to happen? Most likely, no time in the near future. If I start at all, I’m going to choke near the finish line.
Listen, I’m not being cynical. I’ve lived in my head for 50 years now, and I can’t keep expecting it to be something it isn’t! I am very unlike most people. Sad to say, it took me 40 years to accept and — yes! — enjoy it. A lot of my time is spent biting my tongue, minding my manners, and acting all grown up. I can come up with a SMART set of goals, but I get more done and feel better about myself using the SMART ASS method:
Abandon: This is the part where I drop all of the above.
Spontaneous: Eyes closed, I ask myself, “What do I really want to do right NOW?” Not as reckless as it sounds, sometimes I actually want to clean, or change my oil, or even exercise! Then sometimes, having been asked such a question, I might take myself on a picnic! Or lie in the grass with the dogs . . . hike in the woods . . . call one of my children . . . or eat something sensational!
Sincere: Whatever is done, do it wholeheartedly. Be true to others. Be genuine in love. Do to yourself as you would do unto others. Absorb the beauty of all things, and then reflect it back.
I like this method better, and as I am well-known for saying
I’d rather be a SMART ASS than a DUMB ASS.
. . .Yes, I know I didn’t make that up.