The model of the SMART goals is incredibly known and widely used. Reason for that, I believe, is that it offers a really solid structure that can help you move forward. Times are changing, however, and what worked wonder 20 years back may need some additional enrichment to work as well in the world of today.
In the specific case of goal setting, what is now become essential is that they resonate with our soul that they keep into account our deeper purpose or in other words that they are spiritually informed. Only a goal that you feel is aligned with your deeper essence will activate the motivation and generate the creative energy that is necessary for that goal to become reality.
How do you do that?
First a quick reminder of what a SMART goal is. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Result oriented and Time bounded. The reason SMART goals are not enough any more is that you could have the SMART in place and start pursuing your goal, but if you are moving in a direction that is not aligned with yourself, your soul and your purpose, you are going to move in the wrong direction. You would then feel frustrated and unsatisfied even if you are succeeding. You would get confused on why an achieved goal has asked so much of your energy and gives you so little satisfaction, for instance. Or you may struggle to succeed without apparent reasons.
Let me try to be more clear with some example of how this could happen to you or someone you know. Let’s say your goal is to choose a study after you got your high school diploma. Your father is an engineer, you see him satisfied and you enjoyed building stuff together over the years, other friends are going to study engineering too and it feels like this is what you want. The SMART goal test is easily passed.
At university you meet a girl that study theatre and you get fascinated and starts to hang out a lot at the theatre. Before you know it you are part of the scenography team because there you can apply your engineering skills and then slowly you start to play with the idea of being on stage and encouraged by your girlfriend you get your first little part, and then a bigger one and before you know it feels like studying engineering is the price you have to pay to be able to participate to the theatre activities.
Look into the life stories of some of the most famous actors and you will find traces of what I am talking about here.
Another example could be that you get a job in operation for an international company. It fits your studies and experience and you know you can do that. While growing within the company you find yourself managing a team and you start enjoying meeting with each of your team members monthly and the team at large weekly. You enjoy the coaching and desire to learn to get better at it. While all your colleagues avoid as much as possible the managing of people, you swim happily into it.
There is a point you don’t like your operation function anymore and just wish you could spend even more time coaching people, working at team building and such. You start then to look for a new position to be able to fulfil that goal that feels much closer to your soul.
In both examples is clear there are aspects that were not considered before taking the decision of pursuing a specific goal. These aspects become clear later on and lead to a change of heart with regards to what you want to direct your attention to.
When you apply the spiritual perspective to the decision making process you are able to bring to the surface many of these hidden truth that live inside of you just never had a way to become visible.
This is not a strategy to prevent you from finding out even more about your essence and purpose along the way of pursuing your life goals, but surely is a significantly more aware way to start the journey.