I’m a big believer in SMART goals- Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timed- for those not in the know. But the more I think about my 2015 resolutions, the more I find myself getting hung up on the A and the R- attainable and realistic.
I’m a dreamer, a BIG dreamer. Whether it’s fantasizing about taking a bow under the bright lights of Broadway or being a guest on The Colbert Report (though I guess that dream is now officially dead), I have no qualms about believing in present dreams as future realities.
Millionaire by 30 is my mantra- even though I’m halfway into 28 with a net worth well under 50k (meaning I’d have to make over $950,000 in the next 18 months to make that mantra reality).
Logically speaking, Millionaire by 30 is neither attainable nor realistic (at least not for me in my 18 month time frame), but it still motivates me. And if it still motivates me, why not use it?
Despite my tendency to dream beyond the scope of the realistic and attainable, I do understand why those guidelines are important in setting effective goals.
According to a study at the University of Scranton, just 8% of people achieve their New Years Resolutions. Why? As Forbes contributor Dan Diamond writes, “Shooting for the moon can be psychologically daunting, you end up failing to launch in the first place.”
While I’ve seen that failure to launch play out time and time again, I worry more about the opposite- getting too conservative with my goal setting. Too often I come across people who are limited by their own ideas of what’s possible. They’ve created their own glass ceilings- accepting a limiting reality.
As I look towards 2015 and setting my own resolutions, I wonder how far I can stretch my goals so that they remain within the parameters of what’s realistic and attainable without becoming so manageable that they limit me.
In 2014 I set myself a goal of creating a new income stream of $1,000 a month through blogging and freelance writing. I managed to surpass that goal in the last few months of the year by as much as 50%. In an effort to stretch myself further in 2015, I’m resetting my monthly blogging income goal at $4,000.
Oh boy, it’s out there on the internet now, that means it’s real right?
I honestly have no idea how I’m going to triple my income- that might be a fail on the realistic and attainable goal setting, but it certainly won’t be a failure to launch.
I’ll be using my big (unrealistic) dreams like Millionaire by 30 and Best Selling Author (shameless plug: my book is now available for kindle pre-order) to follow through and motivate every step along the way.