Moose Proves Value of SMART Goals

By Pamela A. Scott

“Only 5% of people set goals, and that 5% achieves more than the other 95% combined.” That was on a sign at our fitness facility. That communicates a pretty strong message. And while it may sound crazy, it’s true.

If you want to improve your performance, you need to set SMART goals—particularly in a tough economy. Here are the definitions for SMART goals. Then read on to learn how a moose taught me the value in setting SMART goals.

SPECIFIC: You must be specific in setting your goals. It’s not just “I want to lose weight.” It’s “I want to lose weight on the South Beach plan.”

MEASURABLE: You must be able to quantify your goals. “I want to lose 40 pounds on the South Beach plan.”

ATTAINABLE: Your goal must be attainable. “I want to lose 40 pounds on the South Beach plan and by scaling tall buildings.” What do you need to learn to do in order to scale tall buildings? What’s your plan for learning that?

REALISTIC: Your goal must be realistic. “I want to lose 40 pounds on the South Beach plan so I can wear a size 2.” If you’re a size 16, that may be an unrealistic goal. Make sure your goal will test you but is not beyond what can be done.

TIMELY: Set time limits. This will give you a sense of urgency. It will help your unconscious align with your intention. “I want to lose 40 pounds on the South Beach plan by losing 5 pounds a month for 8 months.”

Now to the moose

Several years ago we took a family vacation to Maine. Being a good business person, I set goals for the outcomes I wanted. I even wrote them down and shared with a peer group.

“Goals for Maine trip: to get a green tourmaline ring and to see a moose.”

We worked our way up the Maine coast, where I found a green tourmaline ring that spoke to me. Then we headed in to Moosehead Lake, a very large lake in upstate Maine. We even took a moose safari, a three-hour boat trip on the lake.

Everyone told us we would surely see a moose, because it was in the 90s and the animals would come down to the lake to cool off.

Obviously, the moose didn’t get the memo. They didn’t show.

The only moose we saw was one on the side of the road. It looked like a youngster taking a nap, but he was dead.

So, technically, I met my goals. I got the ring and I saw a moose. However, had I used SMART goals, I would have declared my goal to be “see one moose, upright and breathing.”

One Response to “Moose Proves Value of SMART Goals”

  1. I have been browsing throught your site. I find it very informative and very helpful. I am using SMART Goal setting and I recomend it to others. Great Post :)

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