I’ve often heard of SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic, Time-bound), and while I think it’s a worthwhile concept, it lacks a certain something. It shows how to set a goal, but not really what goals to set. I think my STUPID concept fills that gap. A STUPID goal is:
Social – Create a goal that gets you involved with a new group of people, or more closely involved with a group you’re more distant from. For example, this year I started playing in the Cardinal Health community orchestra – an entirely new group of people I didn’t know previously.
Tough – Do something that’s hard for you. It’s tempting to set easy goals, right in your wheelhouse. It feels great to check them off, and exceed your goals, making you feel like you’re really accomplishing something. Don’t fall into that trap – make it a little hard on yourself. Set the bar higher than you think you can jump.
Unusual – Do something out of the ordinary for you. I’m a numbers guy, so I concentrate on creative activities (writing novels, the orchestra, etc) that are outside my everyday work. Get our of your comfort zone.
Passionate – Make your goals something you really care about, not something you feel like you should do. Don’t pick goals from obligation. Engage your passion.
Interesting – Pursue an interest of yours, even if it seems silly, scary, or dumb. Try to start an email conversation with your favorite author. Try a sculpting class. Try yoga. Whatever lights your fire. If this seems redundant with Passionate, that’s because this is doubly important.
Done – Get going on your stupid goals! Stupid goals are hard, weird, and scary. You will find all the reasons in the world to avoid them. Don’t pay those excuses any attention, just get going. That’s why these goals are stupid – turn off your brain, telling you all the reasons you can’t, won’t, or shouldn’t do them. Ignore them, be stupid, and get them done. You’ll be glad you did.
I’ll be setting my STUPID goals for 2012 soon, and will let you know when I do