Why “SMART” Goals Don’t Work For Me

I’ve never been a fan of “SMART” goals.


SMART stands for: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-Related.


I’ve had years of unstable health. I’m a carer. I work a job. I used to commute 3 hours a day. My free time is limited and dictated by important variable such as health – that’s why SMART goals don’t work for me. My time is not negotiable based on the “if you were really motivated you’d find time” type of attitude, which I feel is the “productivity” attitude that is associated with SMART goals. 


Why “SMART” Goals Don’t Work For Me


If I had SMART goals, I’d be forever spending my time readjusting the timelines and not actually taking action on the goals because of how inherently unpredictable my “usable” time is. Not very smart, really. I’m sure productivity experts will disagree with me. I say this: YOU are the foremost expert in your life. You can choose the goals, or lack thereof, that suit you. The method isn’t very important.


I also like to think about SMART goals in this context: how would you apply a SMART goal if you were painting? Would you say the picture is finished when there are three grams of paint on it within one week? That would meet the criteria of a SMART goal. But it wouldn’t be smart. You know when your painting is done.


Not all goals are quantifiable.


This is not to say that SMART goals have no value. I’m sure they could help with things that are somewhat universal, like doing your taxes by a due date. But to pretend SMART goals are universally valuable and/or the only way of doing things is not useful at all. SMART goals are merely one method.


How do you feel about SMART goals, or any simliar method? Do you find they work for you or do you need different methods at different times (or for different things)?


Why SMART Goals Don't Work For Me

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