Springingtiger's Blog


SMARTIE Goals

I have written of my need this year to make my goals “SMART” or, rather in the acronym coined by Neelam Bakshi “SMARTIE”. NLP has “well-formedness” conditions for outcomes and goals which give rise to SMARTIE. It occurs to me that if you are following this blog you may find a little explanation useful.

The first condition is that the goal is stated in positive terms so that it has the power to motivate. “I spend four days a week with my family” is inherently more powerful than, “I want to spend less time at work”. Secondly the goal, to be powerful, must be self initiated; a goal imposed by your boss is never going to motivate you as much as something you want to do for yourself. It is important to associate yourself into the goal so that the feeling you get from its accomplishment calls you into action, this arises from making it detailed and specific, it should contain a blueprint for action. My goal of remodelling my garden may provide an illustration, as I have not yet designed the garden I can’t clearly associate myself into it, but I can clearly associate into an image of me, designs in hand, standing in the garden and planning my actions. A successful goal is “ecological” that is to say good for you and good for the world, win/win; if it is not ecological it contains within itself a barrier to accomplishment. The goal must allow for flexibility of action, if there is only one way to proceed you will be stopped when things do not go according to plan. The blueprint for action should consist of achievable actions, non so big as to de-motivate you. The goal should draw on what is positive about your current position and, particularly, it must be something you believe you can achieve yourself.

In SMARTIE the S stands for “Specific”, an amorphous goal has no power, you must know precisely what you want in order to see what you must do to achieve it. S could also stans for “Short” or “Snappy” a long-winded goal does not have the same power to take root in your consciousness, your goal is a sound-bite for yourself.

M is “Measurable” you must be able to tell whether you have accomplished it, you also need to be able to gauge your progress. It should be “Meaningful” to you, so that you have a personal investment in success.

It must be “Achievable” you won’t work for something that cannot be accomplished. However if anyone has ever done something, it can be done. You should be “Associated” with your goal, you should be able to see and feel yourself having accomplished it.

R is “Realistic”, just because people have piloted space craft does not make it likely that I will. However piloting a space craft is achievable, but for it to be realistic I would need rather more steps than a trained pilot, I would also have needed to have started some time ago, which brings us to T.

T is “Timely” and “Timed”. A goal that does not have a “by when” will recede into the future, a deadline is a driver providing a level of urgency. An unrealistic time scale will actively de-motivate you but a realistic time scale with a finish date allows for structure and planning.

I is “Integrity” if your goal is not congruent with who you believe yourself to be, if it is not in accord with your beliefs and values then you will not be inclined to throw yourself into its accomplishment, rather you will actively resist it.

E is for “Ecological” as I wrote earlier it is the best not only for oneself, but also the World. A goal that is not ecological will always meet resistance. An ecological goal may also meet resistance, but it will be empowered by right.

These are the NLP tools that I am using in my goal setting exercise.

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[…] mentioned earlier (SMARTIE Goals) that when we set goals they have an achievable outcome when we set them for ourselves and when […]

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