To be honest I’ve not paid much attention to the ‘R‘ in SMART Goal Setting. That is, making sure that the goals are REALISTIC. Until I found myself not achieving some big goals. Particularly within the timeframes that I had set. Perhaps you’ve experienced this in the frantic lead up to the end of last year?
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Being realistic gets in the way
‘Being too realistic gets in the way of achieving a big vision’. That was a mantra that I used to follow in the past. Unfortunately, I could be known to scowl at people who would try to be ‘too realistic’. Especially, when I was coming up with big plans.
And I do say IN THE PAST. Thankfully not anymore.
Set big goals
We need to set big goals. We look at this extensively throughout our coaching programs. At the same time ensuring that the goals are realistic and achievable.
Maybe you are doing Feb-fast?
Perhaps you’ve set goals at the beginning of the year?
Alternatively, you’ve been a bit stuck for motivation around goals?
Or have only just now had the chance to start thinking about your goals?
Whatever your motivation it’s good timing to take a fresh look at the value of the ‘R’ in SMART. Particularly, how this might benefit your own performance or the performance of your team or clients.
Realistic – a definition
A quick look at Google Dictionary has the following definitions:
(1) having or showing a sensible and practical idea of what can be achieved or expected. “I thought we had a realistic chance of winning”
(2) representing things in a way that is accurate and true to life. “a realistic human drama”
If we break the definitions down, we can see the value in being more realistic.
- Turning our goals into the practical and sensible
- Shaping our goals into a plan; and breaking things down into achievable pieces (the W in GROW)
Being realistic doesn’t need to be limiting
In addition to this, the second part of the definition says: ‘accurate and true to life’. It doesn’t need to mean that our goals are limited. As a result, we can think about realistic meaning:
- Stating the facts
- Thinking things through
- Being true to yourself, or being your best self
The link between being realistic and high performance
With this in mind, we can see the link between being realistic and high performance.
We can build high performance by being realistic. This means:
- Breaking things down (if goal is too big, fear of failure etc)
- Identifying measurable chunks
- Certainly, motivation comes from small wins
- Alternatively, someone tells you ‘That is unrealistic’, and this spurs you on to high performance!
- Similarly, if something was unrealistic in hindsight we can modify and adapt
It’s not uncommon to set unrealistic goals. Specifically, to push you out of your comfort zone. However, we would see this more as a vision. Where the high-performance kicks in is to take this vision and turn it into realistic and tangible steps to move forward.
Some food for thought 🙂
Enjoy your coaching.
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