The Dirt On Goals

Bad goals are a plague on society!

People are constantly setting goals because that’s what we are told to do. It’s like we all need to go to a meeting for it…

“Hi, I’m PJ McClure… and I’m a recovering goal setter.” (Hi PJ)

We’ve had goal setting pounded into us for decades and we’ve all heard quotes like…“A famous Harvard study showed that successful people have goals.” No kidding…we needed Harvard for that?

But it goes to show that we haven’t fully grasped the power and importance of goals. So next, we hear that our goals must have a certain structure in order to accomplish them. The S.M.A.R.T. method is the most popular and useful in structuring a goal, but it doesn’t make the goals any more attainable by itself. If I have a bad goal, I can’t make it smart enough to matter.

The acronym is broken down:

S –specific





All great elements, but millions of people can attest, this alone does not help them achieve goals.

I want to make sure that I’m clear. Just because I said that bad goals are a plague on society and the S.M.A.R.T. method of goal setting, or any other, isn’t enough to carry a bad goal to accomplishment doesn’t mean I don’t believe in traditional goal setting models or goals in general.

I believe goals are very important and every successful person I’ve ever met or studied makes a regular practice of setting goals of some sort. But I contend that traditional goal setting focuses in the wrong places and is incomplete. Most people do not have trouble with the structure of setting a goal. They fail because they don’t choose the right goals or understand what must be in place to achieve a goal.

I’ve worked with thousands of people, myself included, who spend hours setting their goals, but never spend the time to figure out what it will look like or why they even want it. When asked, few have ever considered what they want from achieving a goal (aside from the easy surface answer) and most are still hung up on the last goal they set and failed to reach.

When we decide to set a goal it’s okay to begin with the goal itself. But when you have a goal in mind, the next step is not to worry about the S.M.A.R.T. structure. The first key is to make sure the goal is right by running it through the S.W.I.T.CH. formula.

Can you SEE IT? Do you have a clearly defined picture of the goal accomplished? Without a vision, you are less likely to recognize opportunities to realize the goal.

WHY do you want it? Go below the surface… is there a strong reason for the goal? Is it powerful enough to push you through the rough patches?

Have you granted yourself IMMUNITY to pursue it full out? Are you questioning your ability to make it happen because of past failures? Are you willing to allow yourself to stub your toe, bloody your nose, and keep going without regret?

Do you TRUST yourself? You see the vision and know why it’s important. So do you believe that you can accomplish the end goal? Can you answer with a resounding, confident, and honest, “YES” to every step along the way?

Are you ready to CONQUER the steps that get you there? When we know where we want to go, why we want to go there, and feel free to move… we have move! Taking action gives us victory and fuels life.

HONOR your life as you go. Are you actively looking for gratitude in your life? Do you celebrate each small victory along the way?

There are deeper levels to SWITCH, but these initial steps can create greater awareness for you about your goals and why you struggle or succeed.

Be your best,


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