I am a huge advocate of setting goals. I believe in them. I talk about them…alot. I believe every person should have a Bucketlist and should set SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound) goals. Two recent events have brought up a great question. First, I did a mid-year goals review (you should too). Second, Ryan Ellerand I presented a training to some phenomenal Head Start teachers and directors focused on goal setting. The great question: Can a goal change?
By this, I mean, is it permissible for a goals to change? Is there a difference in a goal changing and a goal failing? Am I just kidding myself if a frequently change my goals and am therefore not really a goal setter at all? You can see how my mind quickly takes off when evaluating my own goals. After much thought, I have come to a conclusion.
Yes, a goal can absolutely change.
While you must be brutally honest in your evaluation of goals, there are legitimate times for a goal to change. When you filter a goal through the SMART test, it may indeed need to change.
Often, circumstances beyond our control take a goal from attainable to impossible. In these cases, you did not fail the goal. Circumstances have changed and you should change your goals accordingly. Also, we may change jobs, or positions, or life direction. When we do, a goal that was once incredibly relevant to our life vision is now completely irrelevant. In this case, again, adjust your goals accordingly.
Feel free to change your goals when you need to.
Goals are like a golf score. You know when you cheat. And you really only cheat yourself.