What's your impossible goal in 2023? I've set mine and you need set one too!

In September 2022, the UN released a report on the progress of gender equity worldwide. They forecast that at the current rate, it will take 286 years to close gender gaps in legal protection and remove discriminatory laws.

What can we do if we are not willing to wait for 3 centuries to reach gender equality?

After 20+ years working for corporations, I’m well acquainted with SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound) goals. This is how you set annual objectives, 5-year plans, and roll out a new initiative.

However, in my last blog post, I wonder what would have happened if Mahatma Gandhi, Emmeline Pankhurst, Nelson Mandela or Florence Nightingale would have been forced to use SMART goals to achieve the kind of transformations they led within they lifetime.

I theorise that unable to share a detailed business plan, they would have given up.

The solution? I posit that for truly advancing DEI, we need to embrace impossible goals.

What’s mine?

In 2022, I coached five women and nonbinarypeople that got promoted. In 2023, my impossible goal is to coach another 50 woman and underrepresented people to get the promotion they deserve!

Is it a SMART goal? No.

Do I know exactly how to achieve it? No.

Will not knowing how to achieve it stop me from trying? No.

Is it worth it? Absolutely yes!

BACK TO YOU: What’s your impossible goal in 2023?

Let me know in the comments!

I'd argue it is a SMART goal! It's measurable, actionable, reachable (you've done it before so you can definitely do more) you got this Patricia!And I am not sure what my impossible goal quite yet haha, any inspo?
Thanks for the encouragement, @iynna! All women need a supporter like you.I did 5 in a year, not 50, so for me it doesn't qualify as "achievable" yet. Also, it not only depends on me, it depends on the people working with me to reach it as well as their managers or/and other managers.As this website ( says "Tip:Beware of setting goals that someone else has power over. For example, "Get that promotion!" depends on who else applies, and on the recruiter's decision. But "Get the experience and training that I need to be considered for that promotion" is entirely down to you."And my goal involves that x50 times ;)Hence, why it's an "impossible" goal!
I understand now! Makes sense, you can achieve anything you put your mind into ;-) I also love this passage, so does the impossible goal mean someone has power over?
Yes, in my case. Two examples:- The people I coach/mentor may decide to postpone their goal to be promoted to 2024 (e.g. they get feedback that they need an additional skill, or experience).- The people I coach/mentor may face a manager/organisation that refuses to promote them. Then, it'd take more time to achieve their goal - maybe move to another department.Still, it's worth pursuing.
I love this. Reminds me of my very untraditional 10th grade math teacher who taught us "aim for the stars in order to reach the moon." Your dreams will only be as big or small as you allow them to be.
Thanks so much for the encouragement!
Even though I am actually very opposed to setting annual goals LOL - I prefer choosing annual intentions / themes / flavors / etc. (which I actually wrote about recently here: - I really love love love what you've done here. I agree that we need to think big if we want to do enact significant change and progress, especially when it comes to gender inequities. Thanks for challenging us all to think about this. I still need to figure out what my impossible goal would be... :)
Thanks for the link to your post and I'm glad my post resonated with you.Please do let me know once you've figured out what will be your impossible goal for 2023!
Wow Maria, I love your "trip around the sun" reflection and capturing methodology... it's systemized, yet simple, something I try to do in my brain too quickly. Thus, it is not as effective when I'm trying to set my intentions and intuit my future themes and flavors, and retain it later. I do like Patricia's point of thinking big and removing self limitations too. A sweet spot will be implementing both ideas. :)I also greatly appreciate that you made a PDF readily available with no email signup. I recommend adding your web address or preferred online spaces to the footer areas (or make "amble" linkable) to help people connect with you later. Particularly for the instances when the PDF is shared directly rather than from your substack. I will be sharing for sure!