Kemisola Adetola: 4 Reasons Your Smart Goals Didn’t Work

It is a new year and virtually everyone is reved up and excited about the changes to be made, and new things to be  accomplished. A lot of the time, we start out the year with good intentions that play out as targets, resolutions, ambitions and most importantly, as goals.

You may wonder why we often go  through the year and then realise along the line that one way or the other, we have lost sight of the goals.

Sometimes it is not because we didn’t set Smart Goals as we have been taught, but the obstacles that we come across as a result of stretching oneself towards the direction of ones goals are usually unplanned and sometimes come as a surprise.

It is one thing to set smart goals, it is quite another to stay true to the goals –  irrespective of the price to be paid for the goals to be accomplished.

I am assuming you already know what S.M.A.R.T Goals are; but let’s do a quick recap from the popular Brian Tracy’s advice on Goals! A Smart Goal is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-bound. No matter how S.M.A.R.T your goals are, they may be difficult to be attain if you don’t follow the key principles that govern achievement and success.

Now let’s go through the top four reasons those SMART Goals haven’t worked in the past years.

Have you ever set a goal only to change it when there is a perceived higher goal? Although this is not bad in itself, there’s a problem when it begins to result into loss of focus. It makes it seem like you don’t know exactly what you want. Another thing is that many people make the mistake of changing their goals entirely once they encounter challenges in the course of their goal attainment, only to realise later that those challenges re-surface irrespective of what goal it is. These inconsistencies could also be as a result of setting goals that are don’t align with your values, strengths and purpose. What this does, is to weigh you down and leave you completely demotivated. An average person with average talent, ambition and education, can outstrip the most brilliant genius in our society – if that person has clear, focused goals Brian Tracy.

When you are not in tune with your set goals, the first thing that begins to happen is that you become less motivated to work towards the goal. Motivation is the desire or drive to do something. It is the crucial element in setting and attaining goals. Now the question is, can you set smart goals that are in line with your values, desire to see its attainment but still be demotivated? The answer is, yes. The reason we become demotivated can also be because we have been overwhelmed by our goals at some point, but suddenly began to give up. Those goals we were once excited about now seem far fetched. There are two major factors that contributes to  demotivation. Internal factors such as lack of self-belief, confidence and assurance. Also, external factors include: lack of support and destructive criticism from significant others. These factors outrightly demotivate us and make us second guess the very goals we were once excited about.

Time Management
A lot of people are lacking in this area which dictates the time-frame of a smart goal. The journey of a thousand mile begins with a step, so every long and short term goals should be revisited on a daily basis in form of To-Dos. The attainment of a goal is not when the year has ended, but begins every moment of the day. We must be careful not to let our current appetites steal away any chance we might have for a future feast – Jim Rohn. A lot of people wait for a perfect timing before they start working towards the goals and fail to neglect the fact that even tiny efforts, made daily, makes the huge difference.

I am yet to meet any successful person who does not have self discipline as a learned attribute. It is at the core of their being. We all desire to have fun, wake up anytime we like, buy the most expensive and random things, watch our favourite TV programs as we wish and so on, but all these would only slow us down and make us lose focus. The ability to consciously practise delayed gratification, to say no to unproductive things and activities, would increase the pace by which our goal is realised. Old habits die hard. This is why you should develop self discipline. The reason we set clear and written goals is so that we can consciously discipline ourselves till our ambition, target and desire is fulfilled. I quite agree with Sidney Howard when he said, one half of knowing what you want is knowing what you are willing to give up to get it.

On a final note, I will leave you with this thought: there is no telling what you can do when you get inspired by your goals. There’s no telling what you can do when you believe in them. There’s no telling what will happen when you act upon them. – Jim Rohn

Have a fulfilled year!

Photo Credit: Dreamstime | Bobby Deal

2 Comments on Kemisola Adetola: 4 Reasons Your Smart Goals Didn’t Work
  • Tosin January 4, 2016 at 9:26 pm

    I hated SMART from the first day I heard it. Just seems like not the best way to run life, and not the way I run life. But right now I’m reading a book (by Robert Pirsig) that is opening my eyes to why I didn’t like the idea, basically it’s too reductionist, something like that. It’s ok to not be realistic. Ok not to be time-bound. Ok not to be achievable or seem achievable. Ok not to be measurable, you can figure that out later. I’d say a goal is a specific thing, maybe by definition.
    I think business school is lame theoretically. A lot of motivational talk too. For every thing they assert, the opposite is at least as true/useful. Yeah, your smart goals won’t work except in very well-defined robotic systems. Basically. A nice starting point, and then critique it away.

  • Mute Akpomedaye January 5, 2016 at 9:48 am

    its been amazing start of the year already and this would help everyone on theri good start…nicely said. check out my blog for similar ways to kick start the year.

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