Category: Optimising performance
Content type: Insight

Are you bored of SMART goals?

Try MAD ones instead.
SMART Goals

I’m a bit bored by SMART goals. It’s all very worthy to make sure a goal is specific, measurable, realistic and so on, but where’s the energy and emotion? Goals are supposed to help motivate, and emotion is the key to motivation.

So, I propose an alternative; MAD goals.

A MAD goal is one that unlocks your passion, fires your emotions and energises you over the long term. Here’s what it means in detail:

M is for Meaningful. A meaningful goal has depth and an importance that go beyond simple achievement. Meaningful goals connect us with something bigger than ourselves, and signal that we’re striving to make a lasting contribution.

A is for Audacious. An audacious goal is one that makes you stop and take a big breath. It’s not clear that it’s realistic or achievable, but it just might be. Audacious means that you’ll be stretched, challenged and even battered along the way. And if you don’t make it, there’ll be no shame because you had the guts to even make a start.

D is for Developmental. This means that you will learn an enormous amount in pursuit of the goal. Primarily about yourself, but also about your team-mates, other cultures, fresh environments and new skills too.

Here’s a real example of someone embarking on a MAD goal, who has inspired me with his energy and passion:

Tarran Kent-Hume is attempting to cross Tasmania from north to south, alone, on foot and by pack-raft. To my knowledge no-one has ever attempted the same route, and he’ll be crossing several hundred kilometers of remote and rugged wilderness and wild rivers. This is Meaningful because Tarran was born in Tasmania, and the end of his journey takes him past his parent’s property and right to his birth-place. He’s not been back to Tasmania for years, but has been busy with adventures like paddling the full length of the Amazon. It’s Audacious because it’s a tough challenge, and I give him about an 80% chance of success. It’s Developmental because he’ll have to adapt his experience and skills to a new environment. Check out his blog here or follow him on twitter @Tarran008.

Over to you

I know resolutions have a bad press, but I wonder what MAD goals could you set yourself in 2017? We can’t all be embarking on physical adventures like Tarran but we can all stretch ourselves in pursuit of Meaning, Audacity and Development. Go for it!

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