I- Internal

How do we know our goal isn’t SMART? It’s Superficial, Trending, Unclear, People Pleasing. Today, we continue our series on goals by discussing the 5th way we can know our goal is flawed. It’s Internal. In other words, it’s all in our head.

Neuroscience aside, we can agree that every goal begins as a passing thought in our head. Upon noticing it we:

  • Don’t give it a second thought.
  • Tag it, “interesting but later.”
  • Feel an emotion that causes us to grab hold of the thought.
  • Believe the thought is important and decide to act upon it.

Out of the hundreds of thoughts bouncing around in our head, it’s impressive when one actually sticks. What makes a thought stand out? It activates our emotion through our values/belief system. Yes, it appears our brain self markets based on past experience.

e.g. “Last time Master was in this situation, Master felt pain. We must keep Master away from this situation. Anxiety, do your thing.” Note: I assume we are all called Master by our brains? 🙂

Believing the message of our own thoughts is not an indication that the thought is beneficial or even true, so we must activate reason to vet the thought before making a plan to act on it. This is especially true for all negative thoughts lest they become toxic (anxiety, anger, jealously, shame, envy etc.)

Once a thought has made it through the vetting process (some call this Meditation) we can finally make a plan of how to implement it in our life. This is how goals are conceived, in case you’ve never wondered. Once conceived, it is up to us to take SMART action to ensure our goal is delivered. This defining action is critical to our goal’s survival. Unless our goal is nurtured and announced it won’t ever see the light of day. The tragedy is too often we forget about the goal we created moving on to the next thought, fear, obligation, goal.

I have spent a lifetime making soft goals. I’ve lost count how many times I’ve been inspired by something I’ve heard, seen, and felt in the moment and decided (soft goal) I was going to make some real life change.

  • I’m going to start getting up early
  • I’m going to start Meditating
  • I’m going to start working out
  • I’m going to eat more veggies
  • I’m going to be less strict with the kids
  • I’m going to pay more attention to my wife
  • I’m going to pay off this credit card

These are all great goals and for the most part they all passed the STUPID test. But…. with no plan of action they remained Internal, stuck in my head for years. The tragic reality of still born goals is they don’t only negatively affect us. They affect everyone we love.  If we hope to give birth to meaningful change in our lives, we must get the goal out of our heads and make a SMART plan of action for our life.

How do we know our goal isn’t smart? It’s lost in our head.


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