You have a goal. You have read all about SMART goals.
You tweak your goal to be SMART and set off to achieve it.
Somewhere along the way, you realize that you are not getting the results that you want. Other more important matters keep taking precedence. You start to lose your motivation.
End result, you give up your goal, SMART or not. SMART Goals are great. But when the goal does not take into account the person’s or teams needs, capabilities and strengths, then it becomes a not so SMART goal.
Think about relay races. To the outsider, it may appear that four people are running a particular distance in quick time and handing over the baton at each lap. The team with the fastest time who doesn’t drop the baton wins. Right?
The coach and the relay team would have spent hours assessing the importance of placement of each team member in the relay. Who can give the fastest lead, who can sustain the middle laps and who has the ability to sprint the team to glory? Each member’s strengths and weaknesses would have been scrutinized with nothing being left to chance. No wonder sportsmen are gracious whether they win or lose and say that the better team, NOT the best team won.
Without a shadow of a doubt, all teams and their coaches would have gone through their own SWOT analysis but there is one more factor that creates the difference. That factor is called level of Motivation. My point is, before setting off to make Goals it is more important to understand oneself and what makes one tick. Once you know what motivates you, half the journey is done and then it is simply going through the motions to success.
Veteran goal setters know that motivation is a key factor to goal achievement. If your heart isn’t in it, then you lose even before the race to goal achievement starts. For example, you want to shed a few kilos and make it a goal. You might go on a diet and lose a kilo or two and then gain it back. However, if you have a motivating factor, like a health reason or looking good for a particular occasion and you know how much to lose with a specific timeline, you improve the chances of goal achievement. In the process, you set up a SMART goal.
Abraham Maslow’s pyramid called the Hierarchy of Needs Motivational Model (see diagram) states that unsatisfied needs motivate people. There is a hierarchy of these needs and until the lower needs are met, the person does not advance to the higher needs.
Maslow’s model was based on 5 needs. The base of the pyramid comprises the lower-end needs that must be fulfilled before the higher end needs start to influence your motivation.
The four levels (lower-order needs) are considered physiological needs, while the top level is considered growth needs. Maslow’s hierarchy implies that the lower level needs need to be satisfied before higher-order needs can influence behavior.
In other words, if you are suddenly made redundant and need to find a job to avoid foreclosure of your mortgage, you really would not be interested in pursuing self-actualization needs until you have secured your physiological and safety needs.
From a goal setting perspective, Maslow’s model can provide invaluable input in identifying target areas for your goal setting as well as the areas that can prove to be stumbling blocks while you try to achieve your goals. Coming back to the weight loss example, if the ultimate goal motivation based on Esteem needs is not compromising your Biological needs of food or any of the other lower needs, you stand a better chance. In other words, going on a diet does not mean going into starvation mode or spending hours at the gym, but ensuring that the approach does not affect any of the lower level needs resulting in self-created roadblocks thus allowing you to focus on a higher need with the right motivation.
Need help with motivation? Click on Life Skills Coaching to learn more on how I can help you to help yourself or if you are a DIY fan, get my book on Goal Achievement Simplified.
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