Setting Stretch S.M.A.R.T. Goals: You Can Do It!!!
Personal finance is twenty percent knowledge and eighty percent behavior. As we near the end of 2016, I’ve had to ask what my behavior is saying. Is my behavior saying that I’m impatient? Is it saying that I’m resourceful? Materialistic? Frugal? What about a creature of habit? This is a great time of the year (as is any other time) to sit back and have a one-to-one conversation about your individual progress.
I remember visiting some family members and for the very first time having an encounter with a hamster. I’m not a stranger to pets but I was in awe of its energy. This hamster was always moving. It was always doing something. I remember it getting on the wheel in its cage and going full steam ahead. That hamster would run its heart out . . . and ultimately would end up in the same place it started; it didn’t go anywhere.
Sadly enough, many of us follow the same path of that hamster. We’re always on the go to nowhere. That’s why we have to set strong goals. Funny enough, most goals have a financial component so I’ll suggest Stretch S.M.A.R.T. Goals. I first learned of Stretch S.M.A.R.T. Goals from Robert Sheehan in his book Mission Impact. Using the very familiar S.M.A.R.T Goal concept, Sheehan takes the time to encourage us to challenge ourselves instead of just settling for what we can do with ease.
There are many different acronyms for S.M.A.R.T. Goals but arguably the most common is:
Specific . Measurable . Attainable . Relevant . Time Bound.
This acronym is widely used and widely successful especially with foundational goal setting. In the stretch concept, however, we change the ‘A’ from attainable to aggressive.
Specific . Measurable . Aggressive . Relevant . Time Bound.
This generally would cause the creative juices to flow and us to be more intentional instead of setting goals that require minimal effort on our behalf. Nonetheless, this is not the end of the stretch concept. Once we’ve accomplished ‘aggressive,’ we replace it with almost impossible.
Specific . Measurable . Almost Impossible . Relevant . Time Bound
When you’re operating in Stretch S.M.A.R.T. Goals, it’s going to take a lot of intentionality, creativity and a little luck. And if you’re like some, you believe that you can make or support your own luck. A common quote is if your goals don’t scare you, they aren’t big enough. So as we wrap up 2016, I challenge you to set big goals . . . almost impossible goals and strive for greatness. Remember, even if you fall a little short of your Stretch S.M.A.R.T. Goal, you still surpassed what you know you could. You can do it!!!
By Jaison McCall, Prosperity Connection Staff