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SMART GOALS

SMART GOALS

5 - minute read

5 - minute read

How to write smart goals?

There is a lot of talk about smart goals. It would be nice to know exactly what smart means wouldn’t it?

How I set a dumb smart goal?

Many years ago, I did this crazy thing. Well, to be honest, it didn’t seem so crazy at the time but looking back it was about as stupid as it gets.

I was in my twenties, and permed hair was in fashion. I will give you the image upfront here, so you get an idea of how this story plays out. I had shoulder-length ginger hair and acne that was so dense there was very little white skin visible between each erupting sore on my face and neck. I have no idea why I had managed to end up with a gorgeous girlfriend who later became my wife.

Around this time, I worked on construction sites as an excavator machine operator. On one site, I worked with a team of five Irishmen. Working with these men was an education. The daily banter and ‘taking the Mick’ made every day fly by. 

Being a contract driver meant the excavator, and I would work on hire for anywhere between a week to several months. A new hire would involve working with a new team. Around this time, permed hair became a fashion statement for men and women. I wanted to fit in and be different, so I decided it would be a smart goal to get my hair “permed”. Planning was paramount because the ridicule on a construction site would be extreme. The Irish sense of humour would rip into me for weeks. So, my plan was to wait until my contract hire period ended and then get my hair permed. This was my smart goal.

I had been working with these five Irishmen for two months when they told me I would be off hire on Friday. 

Operation Perm

The plan was simple. Over the weekend, I would have my hair permed, and on Monday, I would be on a new construction site where nobody recognised me. Everybody would consider my head of curly hair was natural and would not give me a second glance.

I finished work on Friday and said goodbye to my Irish workmates. They had educated this young, naïve, machine operator into many ways of a world I had yet to experience. It was a sad day. These guys were fun to work with. 

On the way home from work, I telephoned my girlfriend, and she arranged for my new trendy hairstyle. By Saturday lunchtime my shoulder-length ginger hair transformed my head into something that resembled a ginger soccer ball.

I felt such a fool. I spent the whole weekend trying to get it straight, but nothing worked. In fact, it became even fuzzier and bushed out even more. The bright orange fuzzy football almost reached the size of a beach ball. At least on Monday morning on the new construction site, nobody would recognise me.

You guessed it!

That Sunday evening, I received a call: they had cancelled my upcoming job. I had to return to the same construction site for another month. Monday morning, I would have to face the five Irishman. I didn’t sleep much that night.

Monday morning, I arrived early. I made sure I was in the excavator before anyone else arrived. I sat there with a knot in my stomach, bracing myself. Moments later, I saw the leader of the five approaching. He looked up and said the usual “Good morning, driver.” 

The four other men arrived and stood out in front of the machine, resting on their shovels talking. After a few moments, one of them marked a line on the ground up to the excavator. I tracked the machine forward towards them and got into position to dig the trench. None of them had noticed the ginger beach ball wrapped around my face. Not even a smile. A wave of relief swept over me. I called out: 

“How far do I have to dig?” 

He paused and then said:

“I tell you what driver. When we stop fucking laughing, you can stop digging.”

With that, they dropped their shovels and collapsed to the ground in fits of laughter. 

The fuzz ball was out of the bag!

News of the ginger fuzz ball spread around the construction site like a bushfire out of control. For the next week, the fuzzball became the butt of every joke you could imagine. But by Friday the jokes had died down. I had now inhabited a new world. Ridicule now built into a standard conversation. The ridicule eventually faded, and my new world emerged.

In creating my so-called smart goal, I had imagined how cool I would look. How attractive I would be. I had created my smart goal to achieve what I wanted. The plan executed to perfection. But there was a major flaw. When I entered the new world, it didn’t fit. My “new “world was nothing more than a passing fashion trend. I had set my smart goal and my plans based on those around me, not myself. Society had chosen my goal for me, and in no way was this a smart goal.

Essential Learning for how to write smart goals

So this was my essential learning: 

There are three main reasons many of our goals do not materialise as we want them to.

1. Goals we create are not our own.

2. Defining who we are by others’ beliefs or social measures.

3. Imagined futures based on society’s belief that success equates to what society says it does.

To re-cap:

If you are working towards a goal provided to you from outside of your own creation, you will struggle because that is not a smart goal. 

Goals become smart goals when they are created within you and relative to you. That is, they are not goals that you have created based on something outside of your self. Goals created based on what society defines as success are not smart goals. 

When thinking about creating your own smart goals, make sure you avoid the ginger fuzz ball effect and be certain that your new world, as defined by your smart goals, is of your own creation. 

Believe me, the last thing you want in your life is a society based goal that turns you into a ginger fuzzball. 

How to write smart goals?

There is a lot of talk about smart goals. It would be nice to know exactly what smart means wouldn’t it?

How I set a dumb smart goal?

Many years ago, I did this crazy thing. Well, to be honest, it didn’t seem so crazy at the time but looking back it was about as stupid as it gets.

I was in my twenties, and permed hair was in fashion. I will give you the image upfront here, so you get an idea of how this story plays out. I had shoulder-length ginger hair and acne that was so dense there was very little white skin visible between each erupting sore on my face and neck. I have no idea why I had managed to end up with a gorgeous girlfriend who later became my wife.

Around this time, I worked on construction sites as an excavator machine operator. On one site, I worked with a team of five Irishmen. Working with these men was an education. The daily banter and ‘taking the Mick’ made every day fly by. 

Being a contract driver meant the excavator, and I would work on hire for anywhere between a week to several months. A new hire would involve working with a new team. Around this time, permed hair became a fashion statement for men and women. I wanted to fit in and be different, so I decided it would be a smart goal to get my hair “permed”. Planning was paramount because the ridicule on a construction site would be extreme. The Irish sense of humour would rip into me for weeks. So, my plan was to wait until my contract hire period ended and then get my hair permed. This was my smart goal.

I had been working with these five Irishmen for two months when they told me I would be off hire on Friday. 

Operation Perm

The plan was simple. Over the weekend, I would have my hair permed, and on Monday, I would be on a new construction site where nobody recognised me. Everybody would consider my head of curly hair was natural and would not give me a second glance.

I finished work on Friday and said goodbye to my Irish workmates. They had educated this young, naïve, machine operator into many ways of a world I had yet to experience. It was a sad day. These guys were fun to work with. 

On the way home from work, I telephoned my girlfriend, and she arranged for my new trendy hairstyle. By Saturday lunchtime my shoulder-length ginger hair transformed my head into something that resembled a ginger soccer ball.

I felt such a fool. I spent the whole weekend trying to get it straight, but nothing worked. In fact, it became even fuzzier and bushed out even more. The bright orange fuzzy football almost reached the size of a beach ball. At least on Monday morning on the new construction site, nobody would recognise me.

You guessed it!

That Sunday evening, I received a call: they had cancelled my upcoming job. I had to return to the same construction site for another month. Monday morning, I would have to face the five Irishman. I didn’t sleep much that night.

Monday morning, I arrived early. I made sure I was in the excavator before anyone else arrived. I sat there with a knot in my stomach, bracing myself. Moments later, I saw the leader of the five approaching. He looked up and said the usual “Good morning, driver.” 

The four other men arrived and stood out in front of the machine, resting on their shovels talking. After a few moments, one of them marked a line on the ground up to the excavator. I tracked the machine forward towards them and got into position to dig the trench. None of them had noticed the ginger beach ball wrapped around my face. Not even a smile. A wave of relief swept over me. I called out: 

“How far do I have to dig?” 

He paused and then said:

“I tell you what driver. When we stop fucking laughing, you can stop digging.”

With that, they dropped their shovels and collapsed to the ground in fits of laughter. 

The fuzz ball was out of the bag!

News of the ginger fuzz ball spread around the construction site like a bushfire out of control. For the next week, the fuzzball became the butt of every joke you could imagine. But by Friday the jokes had died down. I had now inhabited a new world. Ridicule now built into a standard conversation. The ridicule eventually faded, and my new world emerged.

In creating my so-called smart goal, I had imagined how cool I would look. How attractive I would be. I had created my smart goal to achieve what I wanted. The plan executed to perfection. But there was a major flaw. When I entered the new world, it didn’t fit. My “new “world was nothing more than a passing fashion trend. I had set my smart goal and my plans based on those around me, not myself. Society had chosen my goal for me, and in no way was this a smart goal.

Essential Learning for how to write smart goals

So this was my essential learning: 

There are three main reasons many of our goals do not materialise as we want them to.

1. Goals we create are not our own.

2. Defining who we are by others’ beliefs or social measures.

3. Imagined futures based on society’s belief that success equates to what society says it does.

To re-cap:

If you are working towards a goal provided to you from outside of your own creation, you will struggle because that is not a smart goal. 

Goals become smart goals when they are created within you and relative to you. That is, they are not goals that you have created based on something outside of your self. Goals created based on what society defines as success are not smart goals. 

When thinking about creating your own smart goals, make sure you avoid the ginger fuzz ball effect and be certain that your new world, as defined by your smart goals, is of your own creation. 

Believe me, the last thing you want in your life is a society based goal that turns you into a ginger fuzzball.