Goal-setting is a tricky business, and one I love discussing the ins and outs of setting smart goals and reaching them regularly.
One of the most mistaken ideas out there in goal-setting is that you always need to be increasing your goals. This is a mind trap I’ve fallen into many times – believing that with each and every passing year I need to increase the metric for something on my annual goal list.
The reality, though, is that always increasing your goals can be just plain stupid, and can run in direct contrast to one of the keys in the SMART goal-setting framework: relevancy.
Smart goals must always be relevant to who you are in a given season of life. In my case, when faced with setting my annual goals for 2014, I had to come up against a very relevant reality of my upcoming 2014.
I’m having a baby. Yup, I’m just a few months away from welcoming a long-awaited wee one into the world. I’m not the first person to have been told that babies take time, energy, and effort to keep in pristine, working order;) As such, it made sense for me when looking at my goal list that I think of this blaringly relevant life event in my life and consider how it would affect my goals.
And so, I thought about where I could cut back. For years I have set reading goals, and have consistently been increasing them — in 2013 hitting my peak of exceeding my goal to read 200 books in one year. And although I love reading and it serves as my outlet, peace-maker, and primary hobby, it does take time to reach a goal of reading 200 books, and time might just be at a premium for me in 2014.
As such, I’ve taken the step to reduce my 2014 reading goal back to 150 books (which was my goal in 2012). Does it feel like I’m throwing in the towel? In some ways, I admit it does. After all, I feel in my heart I could hit 200 if I just tried. But is it smart goal-setting to think of the relevancy of a goal in your particular season of life? Absolutely. This just isn’t the year I need to be stretching myself to read more.
(I’m a couple months into my 2014 reading goal and am chugging away already. (So far, I’m at 42.) See my ongoing list of books read here.)
Is there a goal in your life that you may need to reduce this year? If so, what is it — and do you feel liberated in cutting back?