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Picture of By: Mary Sommer

By: Mary Sommer


I will be honest I have always struggled with goal setting.  I know exactly how to use the SMART method to outline the goals and the steps  but I never seemed to be able to always follow through.  As I was researched I came across this wonderful website  and I encourage you to visit her site for all the amazing information. 

Recrafting SMART goals

Ariane has redesigned the idea of SMART goals and developed the idea of AGILE SMART goals or Agilizing goals.  The idea behind AGILE goal setting is to support us in our process to change habits but in a flexible, customizable and adjustable process rather than a rigid one. 

AGILE SMART Goals are defined as:

S  Small, simple, specific and sustainable

M  Meaningful, memorable, and magnetic

A  Aims for the agile zone with expectations and standards

R  Relevant to multiple needs and outcomes

T  Tweakable targets and timely check ins

Achieving the goal

If a goal is set, worked on, failed and reset again perhaps that is not the correct goal.  Ms. Benefit goes on to say if your goal isn’t working then stop trying to make it work and create a goal that is magnetizing to you.  You need to really do some hard work  and dig deep to figure out the true desire you are addressing rather than the  goal that gets repeatedly set and failed.

Let’s look at a typical SMART GOAL:   I will clean my house daily. 


Make beds every day

do laundry 3 times a week

follow 15 minutes nightly routine

clean out sink nightly

place cleaning supplies in every bathroom

clean bathrooms 2 times a week

There is nothing wrong with those steps but personally even reading some of those items I know I won’t accomplish before I even start.   That goal with those steps never really gets off the ground or stays around long enough to be conquered. So I have FAILED AGAIN at my goal. 

Tweaking the AGILE Goal

Trying the “AGILE” approach I looked much deeper and figured out that what I really want is a house that looks presentable most of the time and feeling like my family is supporting me in this desire because ultimately I want to feel free to do other projects and not feel guilty about the house. 

Now I can set some short term interim goals that fit me, right now, and I can  change and alter theme as I grow.

These goals may be something like:

Talk with my family and solicit what they will do to keep the kitchen and den picked up

Write down my pain points in housekeeping

Investigate ways to address those pain points

Investigate ways to outsource or automat some of the housekeeping

Run the dishwasher daily

Explore possible routines that support my cleaning style and needs

Investigate and determine which cleaning tools work best for my house

The steps should excite, energize and inspire you.  It is not about strong self-control and making yourself do something, it is about self-understanding and designing goals that support your journey to achieve. 

Your AGILE goals and steps will evolve

As you change, your goals should  serve as stepping stones to better self-understanding. 

It becomes obvious that some of these items will be achieved quickly and some of these steps will become habits.  Regardless I can add and subtract as necessary and still work towards my lifestyle of a presentable home which will liberate me to pursue other interests.  But overall these are not overwhelming steps and while they may be challenging they are also achievable.  Each step, no matter how small will lead towards the larger goal.  No step is too trivial or too tiny, all steps work towards the larger picture. 

The AGILE Zone

This is where it gets interesting. The zone is the range of expectations which start at the minimum, to good enough, better, up to ideal.  This eliminates the whole idea of success or failure in goal setting.  Achieving a step at the minimum level is still achievement and helps establish a habit or work towards the big picture.  Give yourself some slack and grace.  We learn when we don’t succeed and that learning helps us to refine and define what we are truly trying to achieve.  Being AGILE takes into account changes in our energy, enthusiasm, and available time.  While it is nice to shoot for the ideal level, imperfection and good-enough are just as worthy.  Spend time adapting tasks to fit the resources and supports you have rather than trying to force something to work that isn’t working. 

This whole process should make you feel good about yourself and your progress.  Being flexible and positive will help you continue to refine what is really important to you and what you actually want to accomplish.  As long as you have motion in your journey, forward or backward, you are moving in the right direction.