When SMART Goals Get You Stuck

image of person looking exasperated with the blog title When SMART Goals Get You Stuck

SMART goals are important to set, when it’s the right time. Find out what type of goals entrepreneurs should set and when.

Our discussion today is about a different way of looking at goals that is very complimentary to our way of looking at goals for entrepreneurs. Click the player to listen to The BIGG Success Show podcast. Here is a summary…

We saw a great article over at the online magazine for swimmers called Swim Swam. It’s a goal setting strategy to use if you are struggling with hard goals. The author, Olivier Poirier-Leroy,  is a former national-level swimmer who says there is a problem with traditional goal-setting . The process of trying to accomplish the goal gets left out, and the pressure to achieve a goal can cause people to fail.

Poirier-Leroy suggests that setting curiosity goals instead, allows for a fun approach that alleviates some of the pressure.

2 Types of Goals

Let’s look at both types of goals.

Traditional: SMART Goals

SMART is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-based.
They are the elements of a goal that make it clear and trackable, making the chances of achieving it greater.

SMART goals are laser-focused. For example, you can say, “I want to make more money next year”.  Are you going to be happy if you make a penny more, $1, more, $100 more, or $10,000 more? You have to be specific, and it has to be something you can measure.

Sometimes we’re intimidated to start this kind of goal because we set the standard, become afraid we can’t meet it, and get stuck.

Non-Traditional: Curiosity Goals

Poirier-Leroy suggests taking an “I wonder” approach for these goals. For example, when a swimmer wants to set goals to practice more or eat healthier, he or she would say:

  • “I wonder how many practices I can make this week?”
  • “I wonder how healthy I can make my dinners this week?”

This breaks down the intimidation factor because it gives you the freedom to see what you can do, and you’ll likely surprise yourself!

Applying the 2 Goal Types to Entrepreneurs

For entrepreneurs:

  • Traditional SMART goals = results goals
  • Non-Traditional curiosity goals = activity goals.

When should an entrepreneur set results goals?

The more stable your business is, and when the future is pretty clear, that’s when you should set results goals.

avatar-georgeWhat’s interesting is activity goals often yield themselves into results goals. In other words, I make five sales calls every day, and I see that effort is bringing in $1,000 worth of sales. Well now I can set my results goal: Make $1,000 in sales by making five sales calls a day.

When should an entrepreneur set activity goals?

It’s really for businesses that are startups, or businesses that are really trying to transform themselves into something new. Activity goals help us get started doing something.

Some examples may be like, what can I do with $100? I want to start a business. What business could I start for with $100? If I only have $50, what can I do with that? What can I do to make 10 calls today? What’s it going to take? What can I do today to find a good employee to hire? Focus on the activities that will keep moving you forward.

What’s the Main Benefit of Activity Goals?

It’s all about getting to the activity as quickly as possible. And understanding that, yes, there’s risk. But by taking action, we can start to manage that risk and bring that risk down to an acceptable level. It also motivates us to work with what we have.

From the example above, if you only have $50 to invest in your business, and not $100, take action and do what you can with the $50, instead of doing nothing while you wait to have $100.

Activity goals free you from being a perfectionist that has to have all the pieces of the puzzle put together before getting started. As we go, we learn and as we learn, we grow.

Setting results-based goals at the wrong time leads to procrastination, intimidation, and possibly failure. Setting action-based goals moves you forward, increases confidence, and helps you reach BIGG Success.

Here’s to your BIGG success!

signatures: George & Mary-Lynn
George “The Professor” & Mary-Lynn
Co-Founders, BIGG Success

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