Mind Map expert Faizel Mohidin shared an augmented understanding of SMART goals in a compelling graphic that showcases the necessity of goal achievability.
Goals may become unattainable due to:
- Lack of opportunity (older than usual childbearing age, divorce)
- Negative life event (death of a spouse, job loss)
- Lack of resources (insufficient time, health, or money), or
- Unattractive opportunity cost
Concordia University’ s Carsten Wrosch collaborated with Michael Scheier of Carnegie Mellon University, University of British Columbia’s Gregory Miller, Richard Schulz of University of Pittsburgh, and University of Miami’s Charles Carver to examine disengagement from unattainable, goals, reengagement with more achievable goals, and subjective well-being among 280 volunteers in three studies.
Participants rated their ease in stopping focus on unattainable goals, and the amount of effort they invested in alternate achievable goals, along with multiple measures of physical and mental well-being.
They found that people who disengaged from unattainable goals and reengaged with attainable goals reported higher subjective well-being, lower stress, fewer intrusive thoughts about personal issues, and feeling more control in life circumstances than those who persisted with objectively unattainable goals.
Wrosh built on these findings that goal disengagement and reengagement can increase self-efficacy and emotional self-regulation by collaborating with Jutta Heckhausen of University of California, Irvine and Wake Forest University’s William Fleeson, to investigate the special case of women approaching and past the usual age of childbearing.
In contrast, people past a developmental deadline without attaining a time-limited goal tend to focus on “disengagement and self-protection.”
This research suggests tempering advice to “never give up” with an assesssment of goal feasibility to decide whether to disengage, then reengage with a more achievable aspiration.
-*What approaches expedite disengagement from an unattainable goal and reengagement with a revised, achievable objective?
- Working toward Goals with “Implementation Intentions”
- Perseverance Increases Skill Increases Luck: “The Harder I Work, The Luckier I Get”
- “Grit” Rivals IQ and EQ to Achieve Goals