I got some push back yesterday. People were all up in my grill saying things like, “no goal is stupid if it’s yours,” and “stupid is a mean word, how about some positivity Mr Leaper.” I understand. Still….some goals are definitely stupid. No sense in being dishonest about it. Besides, I should know, I’ve had dozens of them.
Over the next week or so we are going to look at 6 ways goals can be better through the lens of my own stupidity. Most importantly, we are going to learn how we can avoid unrealized goals in the future. As this post is part of a blog series on Stupid Goals, you really need to read these posts in order to get the full effect. You can read part 1 here.
The first way a goal can be stupid is if is Superficial. Superficial literally means, “presenting only an appearance without substance or significance.” In other words, a superficial goal isn’t worth our time because as a goal it doesn’t exist. If the purpose of a goal is to help us get what we want, we’re going to need something real and significantly more substantial.
20 years ago, my goal was to move to Dallas and speak my message to thousands, “because then we’ll be able to afford seasons tickets to the Cowboy’s games, Angie.” Spoiler alert: We didn’t move to Dallas. If you can’t imagine why it’s pretty simple. I had no plan, no message, no thousands, wasn’t American and if that isn’t enough, Angie hated football almost as much as my plan. In my limited defence, there was nothing morally or ethically wrong with having this as a goal, it was just lacking substance, wasn’t significant and even if it was, I had not taken the time to develop an achievement plan.
Big goal + No plan= Superficial goal.
Looking back, I feel embarrassed that my brain even entertained this “goal” let alone convinced me to sit Angie down in a coffee shop and with wide eyes tell her, “my dream.” It turns out, it’s surprisingly easy to come up with superficial goals that we pawn off as actual real life goals . Listen for these key words.
“One day I will…_________________________”
“I’ve always wanted to…. _________________________”
“At some point I will definitely… __________________________”
What makes a goal superficial is not the goal itself. It’s the lack of substance, significance and plan.
We are living in an exciting time and have the freedom to make any life goals we want! So let’s make SMART goals. If you have a graveyard of dead goals it’s likely for 2 reasons.
This was definitely the case with me 20 years ago and has been many times since. The good news is, it doesn’t have to be. Next time we’ll discuss another way to know your goal isn’t SMART.