The tricky job of setting targets

“The tragedy of life doesn’t lie on not reaching your goal. The tragedy lies in having no goals to reach” Benjamin E. Mays – American Civil Rights Leader

The generally accepted method to set targets is to set S.M.A.R.T. targets. They need to be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Results-Oriented, and Timely.

The issue with SMART goals is that they feed the comfort zone. The human mind wants certainty and is averse to ambiguity and the unknown. Psychologists refer to this as cognitive closure. A heightened sense of cognitive closure can cause someone to grab onto the easiest tasks, freeze on a path regardless of changing information, and focus exclusively on finishing a task or project rather than the outcome. The good feeling of checking off the completed task becomes an end rather than a means.


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