Most people are well aware of SMART goals. A SMART goal is Specific, Measurable, Achievable (or Attractive), Realistic and Timeframed. In their excellent book, Solution-Focused Coaching (Jane Greene and Anthony M Grant. 2003. Solutions-Focused Coaching: managing people in a complex world. Pearson Education. pp: 55-57), Jane Greene and Anthony M Grant take this a step further.
Greene and Grant write about the importance of creating a fuzzy vision first. They say that a fuzzy vision is “an approximation of the way you want to feel, the place you want to be in…a sense of how you want things to be rather than a precise outcome.” They propose that before we create SMART goals, we need to create a fuzzy vision or risk losing energy “for the journey”.
Greene and Grant say, “The skill of coaching is taking someone from the fuzzy vision and getting them to develop specific goals, designing an action plan and supporting them in getting their result.” They say that in creating a fuzzy vision, a coach asks how the client would like things to be. From this starting point, SMART goals are developed then refined to form an action plan.
We think the idea of starting from a fuzzy vision is most effective because it allows a client to imagine how they would feel when they reach their goal. This gives the goal meaning and moves it from an abstract idea to something purposeful and personal.
And so it becomes a powerful focus for action.