Orginizational Consulting

Orginizational Consulting

How to turn SMART goals into WISE goals!

Posted on: May 12th, 2016 by DJ Moran


Throughout the history of performance management, consultants and coaches have tried to promote the idea of setting SMART goals:

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This acronym is decades old, and has been written about extensively. You might already be using SMART goals for yourself or your organization. Being SMART with your goals is a solid idea, but I also suggest you set WISE goals.

When you’re goal-setting, strive to say to yourself: “These goals are What I’m Sincerely Enthusiastic about doing!” In other words, WISE goals connect your objectives with your own individual interests. When you link your professional goals with your personal values, you will likely achieve a great deal more.

The traditional SMART acronym is not enough to generate activity because it simply points out characteristics of your performance. However, WISE goals motivate you to optimize your performance because they are meaningful to you.

Imagine you were assigned a SMART goal: Write a 300-word essay on the mating habits of African elephants and post it on Facebook in the next 30 days. Would you do it? Probably not. Even though the instructions are specific, measurable, attainable for most people, somewhat realistic, and time-based, if you’re not linking the SMART task to the things that you are sincerely enthusiastic about, you probably won’t achieve the goal. Prior to committing to a SMART goal, it will help to be able to say, “This is What I’m Sincerely Enthusiastic about.”

Here is the problem: people are not always enthusiastic about some professional goals. When working with my executive coaching clients, some leaders have commented that certain tasks can be arduous. That is where we start talking about values. Values are the personally meaningful characteristics and outcomes of how a person chooses to behave. Making values-based commitments assists in generating motivation to accomplish the SMART goals. If you don’t value the outcome, you are less likely to complete the task.

And if you are truly committed to achieving these SMART goals, I am suggesting that you make them WISE, too!

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