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Dr. Kashey Hates Goals

Tired of making changes and they don't last? Learn How to Make Changes That Will Last Forever

Posted By: TeamTKN

Every year, around January I find myself staring blankly at the “goals” board at our gym. 

 

Now don’t get me wrong, I actually love reading this board. I love it even more when I get to see goals crossed off the list. Achievement is cool.  And it’s helpful to know where you want to go.

 

But despite the pervasiveness of #goals talk in most areas of my life, I can’t seem to make them work for me. I find myself chasing feelings of stability, capability, usefulness and freedom. But I’m pretty flexible on how I achieve those feelings. Rarely do I find a specific finish line that seems worth chasing.  Even when I do set a goal AND achieve it, by the time the finish line is in sight, I’ve usually moved the target.

 

And right now, you may be thinking, Jacquelyn, maybe you’re just really bad at setting goals. Have you by chance heard of SMART goals?

 

Well, I’m glad you asked.

 

SMART GOALS

For my day job, I manage a small team at a large mortgage company. The company has been around for over 20 years and our systems are pretty developed. There are 4 levels of management above me, and since COVID, our company has also transitioned to being entirely remote.

 

Basically my job is the exact world that SMART goals were made for. 

 

A Brief History Lesson:

 

In 1981 George T Doran wrote a paper called There’s a S.M.A.R.T. Way to Write Management’s Goals and Objectives. And the SMART goal was born.

 

 It was established as a way to communicate management’s objectives for their employees with a single outcome. It has become a tool to communicate  expectations and curtail procrastination. 

 

In case you’ve been living under a rock and don’t know what a SMART goal is, it is a goal that is:

Specific-Is there a crystal clear task that needs doing?

Measurable-Is there a way to quantify if employees are getting to task completion?

Attainable-Is everyone on the same page about what their job is and what it means?

Realistic-do all the employees know what to look for to make sure they are doing a good job?

Time Bound-Is there a clear time for when the task should be completed

 

They are best for tasks with an established process that has been developed, debugged and optimized, AND occur in a relatively controlled environment.

 

But when the self-help community first got wind of SMART goals, they began frothing at the mouth. What could be more perfect?

 

Why NOT apply these goals to the untamed landscape of life?

 

GOALS in Real life 

Funny story, I almost didn’t get started with TKN because I dreaded what I assumed would be the initial “what are your goals” conversation. I know we talked about them at the outset. I couldn’t tell you what nonsense I came up with that day.

 

Imagine my relief when I discovered that Dr. Kashey hates goals.

 

KASHEY HATES GOALS!?!?!

 

Well, at the very least he hates what they have come to mean, which is nothing.

 

Our culture’s obsession with goals has resulted in:

  • Banner blindness-People sick of seeing goals
  • Poor Execution-People tired of falling short
  • Attentional Bias-People are sick of hearing about goals

Sure, we should know what direction we want to move. It’s even helpful to have the goals conversation to share some common language surrounding your direction. 

 

But here’s where SMART goals break down in the real world. YOUR world.

 

Managing the Team

A SMART goal be an effective tool to help a team of employees to meet their metrics, but in real life, the team you are working with are:

  • Your thoughts
  • Your feelings about those thoughts
  • Your actions based on your feeling about those thoughts

They are an unwieldy crew, but you are Mr. Manager. 

 

Maybe you can make your team’s goal Specific (you know what you want to do) and Attainable (you know it has been done before). You can even make it Measurable—at least, you can usually tell if you are moving towards your goal or away from it. But beyond that, in real life,  the amount of progress is up for debate.

 

After all, you could aim to get better at chess, play a chess master 1000 times and lose every time. 

 

Are you moving closer to your goal? Probably.

 

How much? Who knows?

 

What’s left?

 

Reasonable Goals

Is it possible to lose 50 pounds?

 

Get a pilot’s license?

 

Become a neurosurgeon?

 

Of course, people do it every day

 

Are these reasonable goals?

 

Well that depends, right? On a million variables. And it’s impossible to account for them all. 

 

Real life comes knocking and what feels completely reasonable one day, may seem completely unreasonable the next. Conversely, something that seems completely unreasonable one day, may suddenly become possible due to a change in circumstance.

 

Time Bound Goals

This one is particularly spicy. If you have a straightforward task with an optimized process, it’s easy to impose a time restriction. 

  • Make 25 calls by lunch
  • Deliver this package within 5 business days 
  • Process 50 loans by the end of the month 😀

But how do you put a timeline on mastering a skill?

 

How do you rewire your brain or radically change your physiology on a deadline?

 

There is a reason that addiction-related groups have a 12 STEP program rather than a 12 WEEK program.

 

An experienced practitioner like Dr. Kashey may be able to combine his understanding of how things work in the lab and how things work in real life to make a pretty informed guess for how long it may take you to hit a certain metric. 

 

But at the end of the day: it’s still a guess.

 

What to do instead:

I was relieved when working with Dr. Kashey wasn’t a giant goals fest. 

 

I was elated when he actually offered a way to help me move forward. 

 

Instead of Setting Goals, we started SOLVING PROBLEMS.

 

If you want to achieve a single action, by all means, set a goal.

 

Want to change forever?

 

Change the way you make decisions.

 

Working towards a goal only works, if you are also able to confront the problems and variables that come along the way. If you approach your life goals as an operational checklist, then you are discounting everything that happens in real life.

 

In real life, as you start on the path towards your goals, you will face problems. Each problem requires that you make a decision And that decision will do one of three things to your problem:

1)      Make it worse

2)      Maintain it

3)      Solve it

Dr. Trevor Kashey explains why he hates smart goals.
Dr. Trevor Kashey explains why Dr. Kashey hates goals
Dr. Trevor Kashey explains why he hates goals

Want to change forever? Change the way you make decisions. 

SMART Goals

In case you’ve been living under a rock and don’t know what a SMART goal is, it is a goal that is:

Specific-Is there a crystal clear task that needs doing?

 

Measurable-Is there a way to quantify if employees are getting to task completion?

 

Attainable-Is everyone on the same page about what their job is and what it means?

 

Realistic-do all the employees know what to look for to make sure they are doing a good job?

 

Time Bound-Is there a clear time for when the task should be completed

 

About Jacquelyn Laporte

Jacquelyn LaPorte has had the privilege of working with TKN since 2018. The journey has been a wild one, but it has ushered her into the driver’s seat of her own life. She learned how to ask questions, answer them honestly and act on the answers. She has used this process to become a better parent to her 3 kids, a better wife, a better boss, a better learner, a better human. She believes that no experience is wasted, (not even majoring in a dead language with no career plan😊 or starting a business with 0 entrepreneurial spirit). Each experience gives the gift of new eyes. Perfect choices are not required, and that makes her free to choose.

 

“There are a thousand thousand reasons to live this life, and every one of them sufficient.”

-Marilynne Robinson-

Trevor Kashey Nutrition

Team TKN

Team TKN cultivates, curates and shares Dr. Trevor Kasheys’ stories and core principles, to help others achieve an extraordinary life.

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