My hatred of SMART goals, and other 2010 resolutions

A much better way for me to set intentions

Few things make me want to rebel the way SMART goals do. Specificity and Measurability frustrate me. Achievable mocks me: “Can you ACTUALLY do that?” Realistic bores me. And if there’s one thing I’ve learned in three decades, it’s that Time operates on its own schedule, not mine.

I’ve discovered that setting intentions does work for me, so I’ve turned my energy there. If I pick a few words or images to guide me, I tend to accomplish far more than I thought I could, and do more than I would have gauged as “achievable”.

The only measurable thing I’m planning on committing to in 2010 is sitting down for 10 minutes everyday with my list of intentions. I’m going to trust that spending 10 minutes everyday with my intentions will shake its way out into actions and goals and accomplishments, in new and surprising ways, in natural ways, even in energizing ways.

I share here the intentions I’ve been sitting down with for the past four days, and which I’ll continue for the year:

I honour my body and my health.
I am confident that I am on track to eliminate debt and generate wealth. I am responsible.
I am open to possibilities, and I am grounded in my own focus.
I am successful and I am making valuable change in people’s lives.
I am open to friendships and I nourish my friendships. I am learning to practice generosity.
I show my family, through my actions and my words, that I love them.
I recognize my habits and patterns and actively experiment with new ways of being.
I stand, speak, and act with confidence.
I laugh everyday.
I make time to create.
I value peace and beauty.
I can love and be loved.

Laura McGrath, CPCC, is a Toronto-based co-active life coach who helps smart people to live from their hearts. Let's talk! You can subscribe to Ready for Change news to receive thoughtful notes on personal growth, and you can contact Laura to find out if coaching is right for you.

Comments

  1. That list of intentions sums you up quite nicely.

    Thanks for the anti-SMART rant. People are often trying to corral me with them too. I like one homing thought aka theme for the year or three focus words – This year PLAY 2010

  2. I know, setting goals and holding yourself accountable is a huge PAIN! You do realize, though, that you had set SMART goals for yourself by writing them down, making your collage, and looking at them every day? Sure, they’re not all that measurable; although I bet the results (what I use as the “R”) will be Noticeable.

    All in all, you’ve got some excellent intentions. Keep to them!

Trackbacks

  1. […] Reflection Day, I look over my intentions for 2010, decide if I want to update or change any of my intentions, and think about how they’ve […]

  2. […] Jan I felt bold one year ago when I owned up to hating SMART goals. I chucked the whole idea and committed instead to sitting down everyday with my intentions for the […]