Traditional goal setting techniques not quite cutting it for you? Maybe it’s time to get STUPID.
The dust of the typical New Year chaos has finally started to settle… into the sudden realization that OMG how the heck did it get to be APRIL ALREADY?! I’m totally with you there.
Not to worry though, as we move into this next quarter you can still rekindle that spark for those goals and resolutions you set at the start of the year. But how?
You Could Try SMART
One of the goal setting techniques you may be familiar with is the SMART goal system. You can find slight differences floating around as to what each of the letters in the acronym stand for. Generally the SMART system can be boiled down to some variation of setting and defining goals that are:
Specific – you know exactly what it is you are working toward;
Measurable – you have a way to know you’ve achieved it (or not);
Actionable – there are steps you can take to get there;
Realistic – it’s achievable within your current circumstances;
Time-sensitive – there’s a deadline to reach it;
This is a widely taught and used system. Without question it provides solid guidelines, contributes to many successes and it’s a super-handy tool to have in your personal development arsenal. Don’t get me wrong here – SMART is smart. It works. But by virtue of it being rather linear and formulaic, I also find it a bit boring.
Personally I’ve just never found traditional goal-setting techniques all that inspiring – at least not when it comes to the BIG STUFF. You know – the deep-down stuff that stretches us, pushes us to new heights, tests our limits and makes us grow. And isn’t this really the whole point of having a goal?
This is why I find it infinitely more inspiring and highly recommend that you always have at least one goal set in your sights that is Completely, Utterly… STUPID. What is a STUPID goal? It’s a…
Somewhat Terrifying Unrealistic Passion-Inspired Dream
If you just felt a little tingle as you read that, I’m willing to bet you already have one sitting there in the back of your mind. In fact, I believe most of us do. You’ve likely already been dreaming of doing something you keep talking yourself out of because it seems too far-fetched; maybe a bit STUPID? At the same time just the thought of it is kind of exhilarating isn’t it? This, my friend, is where our super powers lie.
Let’s Break STUPID Down
If your goal doesn’t scare you at least a little bit, then it’s just not big enough. You have to be operating outside of your comfort zone to do great things. And by definition being outside your comfort zone SHOULD be uncomfortable. A STUPID goal should therefore be Somewhat Terrifying. But in a good way.
“When was terror ever a decent reason to cut off your brilliance? All terror really means is you’re listening to the wrong voice.” – Pam Grout
Listen to the voice inside that came up with that fantastic idea or goal in the first place – the voice that thinks you’re awesome and capable of doing great things – and go with it. Especially if it scares you a little.Listen to the voice inside that came up with that fantastic idea or goal in the first place - the voice that thinks you're awesome and capable of doing great things - and go with it. Especially if it scares you a little. Click To Tweet
Reality is overrated. Most of us are taught from a very early age to do things that are realistic and practical in order to live a good, stable and productive life. If we’re being realistic though, we tend to automatically limit ourselves and our goals based on what we believe is possible, achievable, what we “deserve” or what we think others expect of us. Yuck. The side effect is that we generally aim too low and our goals therefore feel a little lackluster. Uninspiring goals easily wither and die.
Being Unrealistic on the other hand, stretches our imaginations and expands our vision. It engages the immense power of our individual creativity. And when our creative operating systems are running at full tilt we get new thinking, innovative ideas and fresh inspiration that can turn the “unrealistic” into something that suddenly seems a whole lot more possible. It’s also a whole heap more fun.
Want big things to happen? I’m all for a healthy dose of un-reality.
What do you really want? Not in a, “oh that would be nice (sigh),” sort of way, but in a “Oh My GOD that would be totally freakin’ awesome Woo Hoo!!!” sort of way.
What do you really, Really, REALLY want? What is that thing you want to be, do or have that the very idea of it totally lights you up?
Maybe you have a health and fitness or weight loss goal; a travel adventure you’ve been dreaming of; something new you want to learn or experience; a business idea, invention or creative project that just won’t leave you alone. How does the idea of pursuing this passion and going for this goal make you FEEL? Spine tingles? Shivers? A little teary-eyed?
When we’re operating from our place of passion we get fired up from the inside. We’re more energized. More intuitive. We tend to act more from inspiration, rather than from checklists, because we feel like we’re living with true purpose.
This is critical, because doing the work on the goal will still be work. Some things will flow easily and effortlessly; some will be hard and uncomfortable. Either way the work is still filled to the brim with purpose and personal meaning so it’s all ok. We can do this. We’re on a passion-inspired mission.
Oh come on, we’re already being Unrealistic! Dream a little will ya?!
“All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open eyes, to make it possible.” – T.E. Lawrence
And here’s the thing about a great dream – even if it doesn’t come true in the end, you can still really enjoy the process of engaging and interacting with it. You never really know exactly where it might lead. Dreams morph, shift and are constantly changing, sometimes into things that are entirely unexpected and even more wonderful than how they began!
What Do You Dream of By Day?
When it comes right down to it our goals, like our dreams, are really only products of our own imaginations. We’re literally just making this stuff up in our heads! So why not make stuff up that truly inspires us, set the imaginary bar up in the clouds and go for it. Because there’s always that chance – deep down you know that sometimes dreams really do come true.
I encourage you to be a dangerous dreamer of the day. Take small consistent actions every day toward that Somewhat Terrifying, Unrealistic, Passion-Inspired Dream of yours. You never really know where that STUPID goal may lead.
I’ll be here cheering you on.
P.S. – Do you have a STUPID goal you dream of by day but don’t know where or how to get started? Need some guidance, support and accountability? Passion Ranger Coaching may be for you. Please contact me to see how I can help!