Yesterday, I blogged about how I’m having trouble aligning my goal plan with my overall values in life. In particular, I’m having trouble determining how to write specific, measurable, actionable goals for more nebulous and ongoing journeys, like my faith, my relationship with my wife, contentment, peace, etc. When I wrote the post yesterday, I had some thoughts already in mind, but I wanted to see what people said in the comments. Dave posted a great thought that is in line with what I’m thinking:
I think that it is possible to create SMART goals for things that affect the “intangibles.” For example, I can’t really make a goal to love my wife 10X more, but I can make a goal to spend an extra evening each week doing something with her. Or to leave a little “love note” for her every morning on the bathroom mirror or something. Spirituality can be the same. While it may not be possible to say “I want to be 35% closer to God.” you can say things like “I want to spend X amount of time each week serving others.” or “I will spend 15 minutes each morning meditating/in prayer”
Here’s what I think about creating SMART goals for the things that matter most: you can’t. However, as David points out, you can create goals that align your resources (time, money, energy, etc) with your values, in ways that are most likely to result in growth in those areas. Just because I spend time each morning in prayer or reading Scripture doesn’t necessarily mean that my relationship with God will be strengthened, but it certainly improves the odds 🙂 To that end, I’ve started looking for ways to write goals that encourage the alignment of my resources with my values. It’s the best I can do.