The SMART goals template has indeed helped thousand of would-be goal achievers move from desire to possibility.
All good for sure and certainly better than no specific criteria at all… but I believe however that the SMART goals formula falls short in several areas and may actuary be one of the many reasons most people fail to achieve their final desired outcome.
In my book 7 Rules of Achievement I outline what I believe from my own personal experience and from having coached thousands of people through the process is a better more effective way.
I call it the - A.C.T.I.O.N. GOALS CRITERIA – and it is designed to create, not just a “written” goal, but rather a more crystallized, powerful and effective “outcome achievement statement” and kick off the process of programing (without any ambiguity) both the conscious and unconscious mind to move congruently in the direction of the goal seekers desired outcome.
How to Create Your Outcome Achievement Statement using the ACTION Goals Criteria: Goal Setting Worksheet
The proper guidelines for creating an achievable outcome or “Outcome Achievement Statement” can be summed up as “ACTION”
A – Accessible
C – Clearly Stated and Concise
T – Towards and Timed
I – Impassioned
O – Organic
N – As if Now
This means simply that your objective must be accessible. Meaning it must be within reach and obtainable. If for example you were to make one of your goals to own Fort Knox one day you may find it a little more than difficult to find a broker for that particular piece of real estate. It’s not accessible or obtainable. Is this to suggest that your desired outcome should be so easy to reach that it poses no challenge and therefore little or no reward. No! In fact it has been said that “a man’s reach should always exceed his grasp.” I agree with that statement. The achievement of your desired outcome should always force you to grow, to become someone more, or learn something new in the pursuit of its achievement.
Don’t allow your objectives to be determined by others peoples beliefs or self imposed limitations. I would also caution you on believing your own. Question your own self impose limitations and learn from those who place no boundaries on themselves and what their capable of.
Clearly Stated and Concise:
You need to state your objective as completely understandable and without the ability to be misinterpreted.
Towards and Timed:
Simply stated some goals are what we move towards and some we move away from. We move towards those things that we want in our lives and are willing to sacrifice, work, or expend resources for. Towards goals represent the pleasure side of what Tony Robbins describes as our twin motivators of “Pain and Pleasure.” Away from goals represent the pain side of the equation and are motivated by what we don’t want or will work hard to avoid.
Timed: Consciously you may have a pretty good idea of when you expect to achieve your objective but if your unconscious mind and the universe don’t know “specifically” it’s a pretty good bet neither will rush to make it happen. Remember when programming your internal success mechanism you must be as specific as possible. This means letting it know when the intended target must be achieved. In addition, when you attach a challenging yet achievable time frame or “deadline” to your desired outcome you instantly move it from the world of the coulds, woulds, and some-days to the world of the tangible and measurable.
There is one more extremely powerful element associated with placing a deadline or timeframe to your objective. It’s PRESSURE, or what business growth trainer, Blair Singer refers to as “PERTURBATION.”
Perturbation is a term used in physics and astronomy meaning “a variation in designated orbit resulting from the influence of one or more external bodies”
Anything we want bad enough that it becomes a must, not could, would, or should…but a true must can create enough passion and impetus that we can almost will it to happen. Have you ever wanted something or needed something so bad for example that you simply could not live without it. I’ll address the subject of passion and desire more in the next chapter when we explore the WHY, but for right now it is extremely important to understand that if you cannot convey in your Outcome Achievement Statement a powerful and impassioned message then it’s likely you yourself are not impassioned about achieving it…or you don’t truly believe you can.
If your Outcome Achievement Statement is full of additives, preservatives, or pesticides it is not organic. Meaning it has to be natural for you. It has to be in line with your values. For example, many people value their family as their absolute highest priority. They will sacrifice everything for family. For others, money or the obtainment of wealth usurps all else, including family. These people place the value of money in the primary position. Almost unconsciously, they will make decisions that move them toward making choices that emphasize those values.
Setting an objective or desired outcome that is in direct opposition with their values hierarchy will cause massive conflict and very likely failure. For example if you were trying to motivate a weight loss client who valued being fit as a way of connecting with their family to drop 20 lbs so that they could look great in a bikini this summer it probably wouldn’t work so well. Sometimes however we can “re-frame” the desired outcome so that it aligns with our values or even to shift our values to better serve our and others needs. More on values when we get into the WHY behind your desired outcome. For now it’s important to understand that trying to achieve
something that runs counter to who you are may wind up presenting immovable opposition.
As if Now:
Your Outcome Achievement Statement should be stated in the present tense…as if it is happening now in this moment. Because of the way information is processed in the brain, future tense statements lack impact. Your mind says “OK” one of these days, in the future, I will earl a million dollars. What’s next to program?”
The mind works literally. With future tense statements the mind programs the idea that you will do something, rather than programming you for doing it. Writing or stating an outcome achievement statement in present tense may sound and feel a little strange at first. However, present tense writing of your statement is the most effective way of conveying your intention to your unconscious and the universe.
Now that you have the formula for goal setting success there should be nothing standing between you and success…. except massive, consistent and courageous ACTION.
Please share your thoughts… I would love to hear from you.