WISE and SMART goals

We have all heard of the SMART goals framework, whereby Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time bound goals lead to laser focus 0n results and accomplishments.

Goals, by themselves are important for success and productivity. Those who have goals are more successful and productive than those who do not have goals; self-concordant goals have even been shown to be helpful to well being. If you make goals SMART enough they will surely lead to desired results, right?

Unfortunately no! SMART goals may make you accomplish things, but may also leave you drained, demotivated or pursuing the goals that are not conducive to long term sustainability.

An alternative, or additive, to SMART goals framework is having WISE goals. What follows is my definition of a WISE goal:

Worthy: the goal should be meaningful and worthy of your effort and attention.

Inspiring: when you look at the goal you should not feel drained, but inspired to achieve it.

Stretching: the goal should stretch you just beyond your comfort zone/ skill level to ensure that you experience Flow while executing it.

Energizing: The goal while executing and when accomplished should leave you energized and looking forward to doing similar stuff again, rather than drained and deflated.

So next time you set goals for yourself or others consider not just whether they are SMART, but whether they are WISE too!

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