Achievable, Ambitious, ADHD or Attention – what does the A mean in SMART Goals?

I hope you are learning from the series of blog posts on SMART goal setting.  The goal setting part of the ADHD coaching process is critical to achieving your goals. Last week, I wrote about setting Specific and Measurable goals.  The A in SMART goals is a little harder to capture because it can really stand for a few different concepts.  I think they all have validity and usefulness for my attention and ADHD coaching clients, but don’t take my word for it.  Keep reading and let us know your input by leaving a comment.

Achievable:  Goals need to be achievable.  Many times, my new clients are frustrated because they have been unable to meet their goals.  As we talk, I learn that their goals are often set in a manner that makes them unachievable.  As you probably know, this can be frustrating.  When looking at your goals, look at them to make sure they are achievable.  If they do not seem achievable, I encourage you break them into smaller steps.  For example, it may not be achievable to get your entire house organized in the next week.  You can, however, get one specific area of your house organized in the next week.

Ambitious:  Your goals need to be ambitious to move you forward in the spirit of continuous improvement.  Without ambition behind the goal, you may not achieve anything new or implement real change with your goal. This may sound counterintuitive to the idea that goals need to be achievable.  I propose that you can meet both aspects as long as you consider both of them.

ADHD and Attention:  I bet this is the first time anyone proposed ADHD and Attention as the A for SMART goals!  If you are setting goals to overcome your ADHD or other attention challenges, be sure that they are addressing the challenges you want to overcome or the behaviors you want to change.

To summarize, you can cover all of the potential A’s by answering the question, “How will the Achievement of this Ambitious goal help me overcome my ADHD and/or Attention challenges?”  What do you think?

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