HARD Goals


Today I was delivering Clinical Supervision training with the wonderful Janis Hostad. So yes it was a good day full of fun and challenge (I love co-delivering with Janis).

Anyway that is not the reason for this blog, although one day I might do a blog on working with Janis, as it is so much fun. Back to the reason for the blog.

So we were discussing goal setting and the use of SMART goals, whilst using the TGROW model. Janis suggested that there is a place for another M when encouraging teams to set their goal, with M being their motivation to deliver the goal. So what drives the team to keep them striving to achieve the goal once the initial excitement dies down.

That got me thinking about another acronym that I had read about and I think even blogged about somewhere that got the client to set HARD goals. Now when I was describing it I got the A and the R wrong mixing them up with those used in a SMART goal.  When I got home this evening I looked up HARD goals and found the correct use of A and R.

When we set goals it is easy just to go through the motions and play lip service to SMART, because it’s comfortable and never really gets you to examine your commitment to the goal. As a coach I generaly avoid SMART, other than pinning the client down to a time frame. Re-examining HARD has made me think, that is more what I do in a clunky, kind of roundabout way. It makes you examine what you want to achieve, why you want to achieve it and what is required from you to get there. Below I outline what a HARD goal is. See what you think, give it a go and consider if it makes a difference to your commitment to achieving your goal.

Heartfelt: write down at least 3 reasons why you want to achieve your goal.

Animated: When you describe your goal does it come to life? Do you find it easy to go into great detail about what you goal is, what it looks like, feels like, sound like, even smell like? Does your heart beat faster?

Required: what is required for you to achieve the goal? What needs to be achieved for you to say you have reached your goal?

Difficult: What new skills will you need to acquire to be able to achieve your goal?

Even when I write it out, it excites me, and start thinking about the goals I have, and I started thinking about what I need to do, I then get excited thinking about what it will be like achieving, and before that how exciting my journey is on my way to my goals.

Make you goals HARD goals, they are so much better than those boring stale SMART goals.


Published by Matt Smith Personal and Professional Coach

Performance and Life Coach

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