Skillset New Zealand Blog

Ideas to help your team develop personally and professionally.

Maybe your goal is a better job, a pay rise, or fewer hours at work. Maybe being fitter and healthier.

How about just being more resilient or at ease? Sound good?

Whether it’s a tangible goal or an emotional state, my guess is you’re likely to agree these goals are desirable.

But in the ‘how to achieve them’, something often gets in the way. It’s not willpower. Sheer persistence isn’t a quality most have. But often, one simple, yet very significant barrier stops us getting where we want to be.

“Yes, but .....”

You get inspired by the positive energy of the idea. But then the ‘how to’ side of it can bog you down with too much thinking about the details.

Why usual SMART thinking doesn't work

You probably know the SMART goal acronym, right? You might be thinking, ‘Tried that, didn’t work.’ Or, yeah yeah, but it’s not that inspiring.

The biggest reason goal setting doesn’t work for many is that it’s too cognitive – it just doesn't engage us emotionally.

So think of something you’d like to bring into your life, or like more of. Using this SMARTER approach, it nicely balances your thoughts and feelings. Then action is more likely to naturally flow from them.

There's a better way

Answering these seven SMARTER questions will help you focus on your goal in a way that feels good. It's more emotionally intelligent and you are more likely to succeed.

  • What’s Special about this goal?
  • What’s Meaningful to me about this goal?
  • Does this goal Align my thoughts, feelings and actions?
  • Does this goal make me Reach up and grow?
  • How much Time will I need for this goal to fruit?
  • How Enthusiastic am I about having this goal?
  • What will the Rewards be once I’ve achieved it?

Daniel Goleman, author of ‘Emotional Intelligence: Why it matters more than IQ’ says:

‘In a very real sense we have two minds, one that thinks and one that feels.’

So to be successful in life, we need to include the intelligence of our emotions in what we want. If it feels good, you’re more likely to do it.

So what would you love to achieve?


Ready for what to do next?  Why (ordinary) SMART goals won't get you there and what will

Interested in a workshop for your team on setting and achieving goals? Contact us

About Dharan Longley

dharan longley blog

Dharan Longley is a Senior Trainer at Skillset.

Dharan is an international master trainer with post-graduate qualifications in adult education.

His assignments have included training police officers and university managers in the Middle East, as well as teachers and staff of large organisations in New Zealand.

Dharan's topics are 'effective meetings', 'problem-solving and decision-making', 'team development', 'training for trainers' and 'customer service'. He particularly enjoys helping people with diverse points of view agree on practical solutions.

Dharan is based in Wellington. He has a passion for the outdoors. On days off, he’ll be taking photographs of forests or waves, or out kite surfing.

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