Goals?… Forget it.
Goals?… Forget it.
Goals, goals, goals! It’s ok to change them. Throw them out if you have to. Yes, that’s right, stop the beelining towards your goal…
Achieving a goal can fill us with a sense of pride and productivity, so much so that we’ve implemented systems such as SMART goals to help us forge a clear path to ‘success’ that we hope will bring us more goal achievement certainty.
How does it really make you feel?
If you put your blinkers on and only think about the steps you’ve carved to achieve a set goal, there’s no doubt you’ll achieve what you planned – but did it come at a cost to other opportunities? And, did it result in feeling the way you had hoped you’d feel – fulfilled, positive, clear, motivated? Quite often, this isn’t the case. We often don’t end up feeling as chipper about achieving our goal as we thought we were going to.
Firm task-oriented goals are a certain way to stifle creativity and keep you playing small. Once you’ve achieved your goal of, say, completing a quarterly report by Thursday, you’re not ‘there’. You simply set a new similar goal again and again. These types of goals don’t foster growth or innovation – and that’s only for short term goals!
What can bees and firm goals have in common?
Bees love getting from A to B, and they’re really good at it. Blindly beelining towards your long term goals can rob you of the eye-opening detours along the way. While you might label a detour as a ‘setback’ if you’re narrowly focused on your goal, it quickly becomes a learning opportunity if you’re open to receiving it.
When it comes to one ‘must-have’ goal that you’ve set for yourself, you might find it hard to get back on track when you’re disrupted (and, let’s face it, that almost always happens!), even if the disruption is a positive one, as you face the risk of dropping your goal entirely.
It’s the journey, not the destination?
Let’s take a positive example: your goal is to become a team leader. You get a job offer in a different industry with better pay, better title, from a company on your ‘A’ list, but no team leading function. That wasn’t the plan, was it? Things can change along the way to your goal. If you’re used to the laser focus towards a goal, you may end up spending more time wondering what you’re now working towards than celebrating your massive achievement and simply being in it.
A perfect example of an external disruption is a lockdown. Agile leaders who rolled with the punches and quickly switch paths towards their outcome were given a fighting chance through the pandemic. Those with a growth mindset are still reaping the benefits, with remote work and an increased digital presence improving their team functions and ROI.
But, if it’s not always SMART, then what is it?
I know what you’re thinking – if I don’t set firm SMART goals, what do I work towards? Alignment, of course. Figure out what truly energises you, how your values come into play, and where that magical line between work and purpose is for you. This allows you to exercise resilience when the unexpected comes along. It’s about enjoying the journey to get there.
And, I’ll let you in on a secret…..there is no ‘there, by the way.
Sound like a dream? It’s easier than you think. Come and chat with me for 60 minutes – obligation free and at no charge, and we’ll work out a plan to get you working in alignment – achieving the Kinetic Effect.