What is it?
You’ve probably heard of a SMART Goal: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time oriented. While these work in theory and have achieved results in the past, they often undermine the alignment, coordination, and agility that is needed for a modern millennial.
They also miss the critical component of collaboration.
You can create radical life changes by focusing on BEHAVIORS, creating ambitious targets, and defining the details.
Think about all the 30-day challenges out there. 30-day sobriety, 30-day workout, journaling, etc. They work because they fit into the FAST framework.
MIT Sloan Management Review released an interesting article recently highlighting how FAST Goals Work:
Frequent discussions; Ambitious in scope; Measured by specific metrics and milestones; and Transparent for everyone involved to see.
The frequent discussions component means researching, having engaging conversations, asking for tips. But don’t just set it and forget it. Review the goal with your self, make it a topic of conversation.
Make your FAST goals ambitious rather than realistic. In the end, you will make radical progress by expanding your end-game vision. There’s a bit of research that shows people who have stretch goals perform better than those with simple goals.
The one similarity between FAST and SMART goals is specifics. There’s a defined milestone or metric tied to them. You give the goal grace by writing it down and tracking progress towards it.
If your goal is to cut back on ordering takeout to just once a week, write down your plan for groceries and meal prep. Work to get buy-in from your significant other on how to reach the goal. Journal about your progress or use an app to help you.
Add transparency for the people in your network. Are your friends and family supporting you?
For example, if your goal is to work out for 30 minutes 4 times a week, ask your friends if you can tag along for their next boot camp class. Instead of going to the movies, suggest going on a hike or long walk exploring a new neighborhood. Explain how this change helps you stay on track.
Transparency also means sharing progress, challenges, and results. When someone asks how you’ve been, talk about it. “I’ve been great, working hitting the gym and cutting back on sugar.” Or “I’m trying to learn a new language.”
Frequent. Ambitious. Specific. Transparent.
SMART Goals are too stuffy. They don't align with how we live our lives.
Setting ambitious goals for yourself, engaging them frequently, and building your support system will help you build better behaviors and become the better YOU.