The most popular way to set goals these days is by using the SMART format:
It’s catchy, easy to remember, and simple for corporations to throw around this time of year.
However, the more I learn from the ultra-wealthy, the more I realize that their goals aren’t SMART. In fact, they’re STUPID, and this is a much better alternative to creating goals.
Let me explain…
There should be no gray area for goals. You should be able to answer a simple question: did you or did you not achieve your goal? To be able to answer this question, you have to be very clear on what the goal is, and have a way of determining if it was achieved or not.
An added bonus is that the more detailed you are, the easier it is to see the potential solutions and create a road map for exactly how to achieve the goal.
The SMART format has at least several of the pieces right. A deadline makes the goal more tangible, and also adds some intensity as the remaining time decreases.
A goal is a dream with a deadline. – Napoleon Hill
When I asked one of my mentors about pricing for a training product, he said, “Once you feel uncomfortable saying the price to a potential client, that’s when you know you’ve got the right price.” I believe the same is true for great goals. If you’re not uncomfortable telling someone your goal, it isn’t high enough.
Multi-millionaires don’t become multi-millionaires by playing small. They think and believe big, and know that it is only when they push themselves outside of their comfort zone that they reach their greatest level of success and wealth.
If your dreams don’t scare you, then they’re not big enough. I thoroughly believe that. I set my goals every year, so that I have about 50/50 chances of getting them. If I ever get all of my goals, I’ll be mortified. I’d say ‘why did I set my sights so low’, so I always set my sights really high. – Dan Miller
Once you can become comfortable with the uncomfortable, you are on your way.
Everybody wants to make a million dollars, but only a few have the key missing element: a million dollar strategy.
Big, audacious goals are stellar, but mean nothing if you don’t do anything about it. Many in the corporate world create some goals, but don’t check them again until it is review time 6 or 12 months later, whereas the most successful people I know put in more work developing a great plan than they do in creating the goal.
Take inventory of what you need to make your dream become a reality, and map out what needs to happen.
Now, you don’t need to know every single detail along the way (things will change and then change again anyway), but what you do need to know are: the end goal, some major milestones, and the first couple action items you need to take.
When eating an elephant, take one bite at a time. – Creighton Abrams
If you just think of your big goal, it can be a little overwhelming and scary. Yes, you want to raise the bar on your vision, but the trick is to lower the bar in the near term so that you make progress and build momentum. We’re emotional creatures and need to convince ourselves that what we’re doing is worth it; otherwise, we lose focus. This is a key reason why 99% of goals and New Year’s resolutions don’t work.
It doesn’t matter if it is paying off debt, making $1,000,000 or anything else, the key is to focus on the task in front of you, and move toward your goal one step at a time.
The greatest leaders and entrepreneurs I know create very ambitious, specific goals in addition to a great plan of attack for those goals, but they also do one other thing that most people do not: they consistently keep it top of mind.
Whether it be with a daily report, habits of visualization or affirmations, or in other ways, they always are monitoring their progress towards the goals. As soon as a goal is out of sight, it is out of mind, so whatever you can do to keep the goal at the forefront of your mind, the better off you’ll be.
Everything you do takes you closer to or farther away from your goals.
Think about that before every decision. – Craig Ballantyne
When you have absolute clarity on what your mission is and what you’re doing every single day, you have insane power and your decisions also become easier.
So, dream big and make your goals STUPID from now on, and you’ll soon turn that vision into reality.