Because SMART is not always Best

I have been pondering how to make goals work in my life. That is to say how can I create meaningful goals that help with healing and happiness rather than adding another layer of stressors?

As someone with perfectionist and overachiever tendencies and some pretty extreme limits on resources available (time, energy, finances, etc.), I need a change doula / midwife for a goal not a drill sergeant. SMART goals can easily become the latter for me. I need goals that are SOFT. By that I mean:

  • S – I am not sure yet if S stands for Sustainable or Supportive (as in supportive of a long-term, wholistic shift).
  • O – Obtainable. At this moment, I don’t need ambitious, stretch goals. I need baby steps and small stackable habits.
  • F – Formative. “serving to form something, especially having a profound and lasting influence on a person’s development.”
  • T – Trackable. This is close to the Measurable of SMART goals but with a bit more flexibility. It allows for multiple ways to make progress. It keeps me from trying to do more and more and lets me focus on “Yes, and” rather than simple “Yes or No.”

I would love to hear how you have created goals that encourage rather than dictate.


About Shirley

Edge-walker, ethicurean, idealist, introvert, ivory tower escapee, geek, granola gal, nature nut, pronoiac, scanner/renaissance soul, spiritual nomad, teacher, wayfinder, and world citizen who is weaving her passions for knowledge (learning & teaching), technological tools, the natural world, empowering people & communities, and everyday miracles & beauty into a curious life.
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