- SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely.
- Both push goals and pull goals are SMART, but pull goals are more likely to be achieved since they tap into your emotions and motivations.
- Pull goals literally pull you into the future.
Remember the early 1960s when President Kennedy said we were going to send a man to the moon before the end of the decade and return him safely back to earth? The entire country rallied around that goal and by the end of the 1960s, Kennedy’s dream became a reality. It was a tremendous visionary pull-based goal.
However, most people tend to have push-based personal goals. Both push and pull goals can use the same acronym—SMART—which stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely.
Example of a push goal: We’re going to save $20,000 to buy a $200,000 house in the suburbs in two years that’s near good schools, with easy access to the highway, and that is only 30 minutes from the airport.
Example of a pull goal: It’s two years from today. I’m looking out at my backyard and I’m envisioning a play set in the grassy area that we’re going to buy for the child we’re expecting. I turn around in my house and I see an open, airy space with vaulted ceilings. I walk upstairs where we have three bedrooms. Our master bedroom and bath have been newly remodeled and right next door there is easy access to the second bedroom/nursery for the baby. Both rooms look out at the mountains.
I come back downstairs and see an attached garage, which allows us to get in and out of the house easily in any kind of weather. Many of our neighbors are young couples who have children the same age as our kids, and they’ll all be attending the local schools that are in the top 10 percent in the state. Our street has convenient access to the highway so I can quickly get to work or the airport. I am so excited that we just saved the $20,000 we needed for the down payment and closed on the house yesterday.
Push vs. pull goals
So what’s the difference? Pull goals are based on your emotions, your motivations, your head and your heart. We tend to get very attached to pull goals and are more likely to achieve them than push goals. That makes a difference. Try a vision-based goal the next time you have something important that you want to do and see how well that pulls you to the future you want.
Until next time–enjoy, Gary.
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