The value of dumb goals

You know-the non-S.M.A.R.T. ones. I may have grown more as a person as a result of my dumb goals more than my S.M.A.R.T. ones.

I’m not anti-S.M.A.R.T. goals. (No, I don’t have a S.M.A.R.T. goal to avoid double-negatives in my writing.) Specific, measureable, attainable, realistic, time-bound goals are great. The meanings behind each letter may vary according to the source, but the idea behind S.M.A.R.T. goals is that you set a goal and know when you reach it. That’s all well and good and quite helpful in many settings.

But the most meaningful, life-changing goals I have set have been rather dumb, if I can say so. They have been general hopes, unmeasureable because achievement came in different ways than I expected, unrealistic if they depended on me, and with an open timeline. Somehow, the re-writing of these goals into S.M.A.R.T. goals removes the hope, the poetry, the beautiful audacity of expecting more than seems possible.

So instead, I pray them. I write them and re-write them. I share them, usually spilled out almost-on-accident in the middle of conversation with a friend. I look for graces along the way, God making ways (sometimes literally!) in the desert.

I have this niggling thought at the back of my mind that the accomplishment of most of my S.M.A.R.T. goals will be long-forgotten except for the ways they made my dumb goals happen. That’s ok with me.

(I’d like to post a video of Sara Groves’ song “Legacy,” but my internet is *surprise* acting up. Feel free to check YouTube yourself and enjoy!)


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