SMORT goals

You’ve heard of SMART goals, but have you ever seen a SMORT goal? I stole this idea from Evan Cooper, and I love it.

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Ostentatious: “designed to impress or attract notice”
  • Relevant
  • Time-bound

Will Larson likes to talk about preening: “doing low-impact, high-visibility work.”

When you create a goal that’s likely to impress people instead of a goal that may be more valuable but less noticeable, you’re preening. SMORT goals are an insidious flavor of preening because achieving goals always feels productive, even if they’re the wrong goals.

I get it, trust me. It’s hard to totally ignore the “will people notice this?” factor. But it’s important. Often the most valuable goals are the ones least likely to impress people.

Think SMART, not SMORT.

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