Today’s Guest Post of the Month is provided by Claudia over at PearTreePond. Claudia helps mums build successful and profitable blogs!
Do you feel stuck? Like you’re endlessly spinning your wheels without ever moving forward? Are you always busy, but never productive?
Then it might be time to take a closer look at the way you set your personal and/or business goals.
Did I just catch you wondering why the heck you should set goals at all when life is so unpredictable and things change constantly? Aren’t you better of just goin’ with the flow and adapt as things progress?
Well, here is a shocking idea for you: Try combining SMART goals AND flexibility for best results. Say what?! Bear with me, it’s actually less confusing than it sounds! 😉
Combine SMART goals and flexibility for best results.
First off, I DO believe in the power of goal setting to get to your desired results more quickly and efficiently. If you’d like to know why, check out my post “GOAL SETTING: 5 AMAZING BENEFITS FOR PERSONAL LIFE & BUSINESS”, where I go into more detail about how clear goals can help you become more successful.
Suffice to say, that having defined goals is like knowing the exact place you wanna go, pinpointing it on a map and then following the roadmap to get there. Whereas not having a defined goal is like wandering around without directions or map.
To make your goals clear, you can use the SMART concept: SMART is an acronym that summarized the characteristics a good goal should have to be most effective. What might sound like the flavor of the month, is actually not that new a concept. It was first introduced in 1981 (for all nerds: George T. Doran, “There’s a S. M. A. R. T. Way to Write Management Goals and Objectives”, Management Review (AMA Forum), November 1981, pps. 35-36) and has been constantly adapted throughout the years. SMART stands for:
This is a proven method to get better results.
How to make your goal SMART.
To make your goal SMART, go into as much detail as possible. You can use the “W”-questions to help you come up with the specifics. For example: Saying you wanna be more successful in business is honest but vague. To make it specific, you could say “I wanna make $3000/month with my coaching business by June 30th, 2019, to be able to quit my boring 9-5 job and do what I love instead”. Then put your thinking cap on, focus on that goal and lay out a plan detailing all the action steps you’d have to take in order to get there. Congrats, you pinpointed your destination and drew yourself a roadmap to get there! =) Can you feel the clarity and relief that comes from knowing exactly where you wanna go and how to get there? No more aimlessly wandering about – you are now able to focus your time and energy in the right direction.
But what about flexibility?
Now to that flexibility part. While I love the productivity boost that comes from setting SMART goals, there is one thing that I’m missing: Flexibility and a little wriggle room. If you focus too much on the outcome, you might not enjoy the journey as much. “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans” (John Lennon), right? How much fun is going through life being blinkered? There is this beautiful word, one of my favorite English words: serendipity. Such a magical concept! It’s like that butterfly you shouldn’t hunt, for it will only fly away – instead, you hold out your hand and are as still as possible to invite it to land on your hand. It’s something you can’t force. All you need is a little time to follow where your interests take you, explore a hunch, be still or get lost in a dream. Without clear direction, you stumble upon things you didn’t know you loved, you get new ideas and invite the not-yet-known into your life. Maybe you’ll even discover something that changes your life completely. Just by being open to the possibilities around you.
How can we have clear directions and simultaneously have no directions all at? It is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma… I’d argue for trying to focus on your SMART goals about 80% of the time while allocating 20% of your time to make room for the unexpected. However, I don’t think there is a one-solution-fits-all fixed ratio that works equally well for everyone. If the 80/20 ratio doesn’t feel flexible enough for you, play around with the ratios until you hit your personal sweet spot of being most productive while really enjoying the process and being open to the opportunities that surround you.
Good luck and happy experimenting! =)