Blog post #220 SMART Goals: Realistic Goals

Blog post #220 Realistic

As we get into the new year, I’m reviewing SMART goals:
S – Specific
M – Measurable
A – Attainable
R – Relevant
T – Timely

Today – Relevant

Relevant also is defined as reasonable, realistic and resourced, results-based

Reasonable and relevant – makes sense doesn’t it?  

So, could a goal have all the other SMART factors and not be relevant?  Sure

Let’s try an example:  Bob is recently retired and has an estate that is estimated at 1 million dollars.  He has a goal:   By December 31, 2018 I will have built a single person aircraft in my backyard in my residential suburban neighborhood valued at 1 million dollars.  Assuming that he knows enough to build an airplane (attainable); it is measurable (by December 31 – yes – made it; no – didn’t make it); specific (this could / should be more specific – the type of aircraft / airplane).  Is it reasonable?  Maybe / maybe not.  If I built an aircraft in my suburban backyard, I’d have trouble getting it out of the yard with fences, other houses so close that I probably couldn’t get the aircraft out of my yard.  (Now, if he is on a farm or ranch, maybe the logistics of getting out of his backyard are not a problem.)  Then, how is he going to use the aircraft?  Does he need a runway?

If he is doing it just to say ‘I did it’.  That might be relevant – although to my mindset, not all that reasonable.  

Another example:  Sue has this goal:  By September 1, 2018, I will have built a 10 foot by 10 foot room at the top of a 45 foot pole in my backyard where I will live for the rest of my life.  Specific, measurable, attainable – but how relevant is it?  Again, if Sue wants to model some of the religious zealots of centuries ago; this might be relevant to her.  She could live up in this room with a bucket to bring food and things up to her – as well as lower the bucket down with body wastes and other wastes.  

Relevance depends on the person, but it should be relevant to their life, their jobs, their family.  For many people, losing weight is a solid goal and the relevancy is that it will improve their health and well being.

A friend has had hip trouble.  But, her doctor said in effect “We can’t operate on you since you are greatly obese.”  Since that time, she has set a goal to lose 100 pounds by January 15, 2018.  She has reached that goal and now is arranging for the needed hip surgery.  Very relevant as it applied to her health issues.  (The most difficult part was the ‘attainability’ of that goal – losing 100 pounds is not easy).

Do you career advancement?  Would getting an advanced degree help – like an MBA or RN or some other graduate level studies?  That might make a goal to get that MBA in a period of time a very relevant goal.  What if you have a goal to work for your company in France for a year – a subgoal might be to become proficient in the French language. 

While I’m a person who believes we can just about be whatever we want to be; but for me to have a goal of being the starting quarterback for the Green Bay Packers in five years is not relevant to a man of seventy years.  (Aside, it might be attainable – if I had 200 billion dollars and could buy the team and name myself as coach AND starting quarterback – with the most likely outcome that the team (with me at quarterback) would lose every game in the season.

My dream / wish of climbing Mount Everest has past.  Could a 70 year old climb Mount Everest?  Maybe, but probably not – and why would I want to?  (Of course, the old answer to that was “Because it is there”).

So … are your goals relevant to you?  Are they for YOU – and not for others?  (Goal:  I want my wife to lose 30 pounds by July 1st 2018 – nice goal, but I have no control over it).

So … how about you?  Do you deep inside yourself have goals that you CAN reach – that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely?  Go for it!!

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Posted by Bruce White

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