Screw SMART Goals

French cooking (see recipe below) and SMART goals have three things in common. Too complicated. Too overwhelming.

Delicious but complicated french stew. Click "display photos" to see it

Photo Credit: Food & Wine

And unless you feel truly inspired, there’s no way you’re following through.

SMART goals look really great on paper but suck in real life. It’s really easy to spend a chunk of time creating and planning goals out on vision boards or Excel, and no time in goal-attainment, the consistent action part of bringing goals into reality.


Do this a few times and you’ve just begun internalizing failure-to-follow through as one of your normal behaviors.


How ironic that a piece on SMART goals is one of my most popular blog articles. It’s something about human nature to equate complicated with effective. And if we cannot stick to our complicated plan then there’s something wrong with us, not the plan.

I remember spending hours and hours creating beautiful SMART goals with specific specificity, my deadline dates, and even setting up my accountability people. It was all right there on paper. I was going to nail it this time! Finally skinny! Finally free! Finally feeling great about myself and my choices! BOOM!

Three months later I was in the same predicament. Fat, broke, miserable, and single. I went through this cycle for three years before I realized that the right things weren’t working. Maybe it was time to change the plan instead of drop the goals.



SMART goals miss two important transition steps between a hopeful dream and our rockin’ reality. While SMART goals make it easy to look on paper, see the action steps, and rationally know what you need to do, following through often feels forced because they are missing two vital pieces. These pieces are the difference between flowing almost effortlessly towards your goals on a daily basis and spending another year exactly where you are now.

It’s no wonder you’re having trouble losing weight, sticking to your diet, or living a more adventurous life then. It’s not your fault

You just need some easy wins to build confidence and momentum to keep going for the long haul.

Tomorrow, we’re going deep into the process of creating meaningful, juicy, easy-to-follow-through-on goals for 2015. You’ll come out with your individual goals for 2015 AND with the fuel to follow-through past January. So get ready to dig in tomorrow with some paper and pen.


Before then, I want to know about one goal you reached and one goal you didn’t. What do you think was the difference between the two? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


Life tastes better with butter,






P.S. Stagnancy feels worse than failure. Spending another year with the same problems as the previous years is miserable. But action in a positive direction, no matter how small, builds. Let that sink in as you review 2014 and what you want for the future.

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