Goals or Stretch Goals?

RogerFederer-WordArtFHGoal setting helps you accomplish tasks. Stretch goal setting helps you accomplish dreams. Angelo A. Rossetti

Many people learned the art of goal setting from the acronym SMART. SMART goals stand for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-Bound. This was developed by GE for its employees when it was the world’s largest corporation. From the outside, it looks like a great idea to improve employee efficiency or effectiveness. Over time, however, in analyzing the results of this goal-setting method, some found that it stifled creativity. People selected goals that they knew that they could accomplish.

Ultimately, the greater the size of your dream the more imperative it is to have stretch goals and not just goals.

My brother and I developed a new acronym after setting our first world record. One that appeals to children, since it’s easy to remember, and to adults since it addresses the need for stretch goals; the word GOALS itself.

G for Grand. Your dream needs to be a large stretch goal. It should keep you up at night and get you up in the morning. Create a dream board of pictures, quotes, and your heroes that you have above your bed so you are reminded of your dream when you go to sleep so you can dream about it and when you wake up you start taking action toward your dream. Known as BHAG or you Big, Harry, Audacious Goal, are stretch goals.

O is for Optimistic. You need to have and maintain self-belief. If you believe in yourself and surround yourself with a team of supporters, anything is possible. Self-belief will change the seemingly impossible to possible. Impossible is just a disguise for “I’m possible!” If you believe you can extend yourself beyond your boundaries.

A is for Accountable. Find an accountability partner. It’s easy to let yourself down but much different when someone else is counting you. We try much harder to please others than please ourselves. Same holds true for letting others down versus ourselves.

L is Long term stretch goals. These usually span 3 to 5 years. These can almost seem like small dreams coming true as you reach them.

S is for Short term stretch goals. If you create smaller stretch goals your ladder will line up with your dream rather than fall short of your dream if you just used goal setting.

Make practice tougher than the competition or event. Every short-term and long-term goal should be stretch goals. In our case, we achieved stretch goals like losing 20 pounds in 35 days, volleying 4 hours without missing after fasting for 24 hours, and giving up coffee, the latter being the most challenging! Coffee lovers know what I mean.

Long-term stretch goals that we accomplished was breaking our past record in PRACTICE, giving us the confidence and belief that we could do it when that day came.

We shed the fear of making a mistake. We dealt with all of the “what ifs” we fail, a task given to use by our mental skills coach. Would our families still love us? Yes. Would we still have jobs? Yes.

Tim Ferriss calls this Fear Setting. He quarterly does Fear Setting by writing down his biggest fears, identifies what’s the worst that can happen, lists the actions he can take to minimize the worst case, and documents what the negative results would be for inaction. This reminds me of Dale Carnegie’s method of how to stop worrying and start living.

I leave you with these questions to ponder:

Does traditional goal setting work to achieve your dreams?
Do goals need to be achievable?

Stretch your goals and you’ll reach your dreams. 

I always welcome feedback at angeloarossetti @ gmail .com. The above content is proprietary. Please ask me for permission to reference or use in any way.

You can learn more about a couple of tennis GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ that I have been a part of:

Our Inspiration – 2 World Records 2 Minute Video
FOX News Story
Inspirational Tennis Story: Tennis Begins with Love
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Goals or Stretch Goals?

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