Why SMART Goals Don’t Work For Grown Ups!

Yes, I said it! I don’t believe that SMART goals work for grown ups!

If you’re not familiar with SMART goals, they are goals that are set in a way that is Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Reachable and Time Specific. I have taught goal setting using this method for many years, however now, something different is going on…


Here’s what’s changed

If you’re reading this, finding the time and money to dedicate to your goals is harder now than ever. Goals may even be a thing of the past, or just reserved for your job. You might think personal ‘goals’ are just one more thing on your to-do list.


Is this just a mid-life crisis?


The feeling of questioning everything and why you’re even here is quite common when your life is stable. As human beings, we require variety – and often go to far extremes to find it – however that’s another blog post!

If you’ve got teenage kids, you’ve probably noticed that they are less demanding of your attention, unless it’s driving them somewhere – and yet, you’re frequently required to foot the bill for hobbies and gadgets. You probably feel less wanted, and more needed. 🙁


So how can setting a goal get you back into your groove?

The fact is, we all have goals, whether we acknowledge them or not!  You know that you want a holiday, you know when you want a new car, you know if you want to change your job – yes?

But you don’t know how it’s going to happen, and you can’t get clear on exactly what it might look like – and sometimes you even feel like it’s torture to imagine and dream about what you really want.

Imagine how life will be when it happens though – doesn’t that feel good?


Here’s what you to do before using SMART!

Forget SMART – that’s too simple and cut and dried for your life right now.  What you need is to get clear on is ‘Why’. Why do you want this goal?

Don’t go saying that your goal is for your family, because chances are – it’s not. It’s only what you think your family want!

Sorry to say, but they probably couldn’t care less about a new car or a new holiday. They just want you to be happy and spend more time with them. Studies have shown this time and time again – that’s what kids really want from their parents.

So, WHY do you want to achieve this goal?  This is the bit you might not want to tell anyone as it’s just for you 😉

Here’s a quick example.

I drive a Ford Flex. On the surface the ‘why’ is because I have 3 kids, 2 dogs, groceries, sports equipment etc. Very practical, sensible reasons.

The real ‘why’ – because I don’t want to drive a van. I want to be a bit different (‘more than ordinary’ you could say). It’s not a van – it’s different. That’s my WHY – even though it looks like a toaster (according to my kid’s friends)!


What’s missing from SMART?

Creativity! SMART gets too specific too fast. With goals, you need to get really creative and start to use your imagination – which is one of the driving forces of our lives. If we can imagine something, there is a high chance that if we put our effort into it too, we make it happen. You’ve got to get creative, and go larger than is comfortable, and then a goal becomes worth the effort.

And they take effort!

Imagine how relaxed you’ll feel after a glass of wine or a beer, when your will power is telling you to drink a mineral water? Imagination vs will power… which one wins?

Stop making do. Stop settling. You’re worth more than that – and you deserve more.

Employ the services of your imagination. It’s a skill we need to learn from our kids! They imagine how exciting that video game is going to be, they imagine how cool they’ll look wearing that particular label or pair of new shoes… and then they convince us with every ounce of their natural persuasion that its true. That’s how we achieved our goals when we were younger and more creative!

If you’re worried about finding the time or the money, I can help you make that real too. Download your 5 Steps to be ‘More Than Ordinary’ guide here (it’s FREE).

If you like the idea of a different mindset around goal setting, and how it totally changes your life, you can download the guide (for FREE) and work through some questions to help you set AND REACH a new goal.

It’s not your fault you’re missing your SMART goals – it’s just they don’t give you what you need right now! You’re a grown up and you need more!



About The Author

Lindsay de Swart

Lindsay de Swart helps people who are frustrated and stressed about ‘ordinary life’ to ‘Be More Than Ordinary’ every day. She helps them to create a life they REALLY want! She encourages and inspires people to do more with their life to live with more purpose, more enjoyment, more fulfilment, more contribution and to make more impact with what they do. After spending 12 years training and practicing as a fitness trainer, hypnotherapist, life coach and online business coach, she identified 5 steps that are necessary to create a life that is ‘More Than Ordinary’! - You can get those 5 steps at http://lindsaydeswart.com

Leave a Comment Below!

Leave A Response

* Denotes Required Field