Picking up from where I left off yesterday, Inside my life plan are some specific commitments to help me reach my destination. These generally should be what are commonly called S.M.A.R.T. Goals, standing for specific, measurable, actionable, realistic and timely.
Did I mention yesterday that I excel at making goals? Yes, I’m great at making goals. Completing them is another matter. So based off my expert opinion, here’s five ways to set dumb goals instead of SMART ones:
Be vague, instead of specific
I hope to cover more on this later, but I wrestled with setting specific spiritual goals. For some reason, I thought it more in vogue to be vague when it comes it comes to faith. Yet, God Himself is not too spiritual to be vague. When He starts the Ten Commandments, He doesn’t say “I’m God” but “I am the LORD your God, who delivered you out of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.”
Anyway, I have more to say, but one way to bust a goal is to be vague. Set goals so nebulous, you won’t know if you’ve already completed them or not. Here’s some examples:
- I’m going be a better person.
- I’m going be be rich.
- I’m going to be healthy.
None of those are very specific, because they first don’t specify what “better”, “rich”, or “healthy” means.
Make goals impossible to measure
Here’s a goal that’s bound to fail:
- I’m going to lose weight.
Great! But how much weight? By when?
Here’s another one:
- I’m going to save for retirement.
Great! But there’s going to be a huge difference between saving a few bucks here and there and saving enough for retirement.
Make goals about more talk, less action
Another great way to miss goals is to lack actionable steps. Compare these two goals:
- I want to learn guitar.
- I will practice playing guitar for 15 minutes every day, alternating between playing on Youiscan, watching Justin Guitar on YouTube, and playing songs from my song sheets.
Which goal is better if I want to dream about being like the Beatles and content with playing air guitar? The first one of course! The second goal includes real work which might result in actual improvement. Bah!
Another fine way to miss goals is to make them practically unattainable by ignoring reality. Here’s some examples:
- I’m going to form a rock band like the Beatles, even though I don’t know how to play any instruments.
- I’m going to make a billion dollars this year.
- I’m going to ride my bicycle across the globe.
Believe it or not, I actually considered #1 in high school. Anyway, none of these are very realistic. However, I could tone them down a bit:
- I’m going to get better at guitar so I’m confident playing songs at church.
- I’m going to double my salary in the next ten years.
- I’m going to ride my bicycle to Placerville and back.
Anyway, I hope that gave you some insight and a few chuckles.