DUMB Goals!

I remember 12th grade, particularly the day I met my counselor. I was looking forward to meet this person, hoping that he would help me choose the right career path.

He blew me away with his wisdom and insights on psychology and why I should be choosing a career for which I have an aptitude for than follow the crowd.

Among the several strategies that he shared that day, one clearly stood out — because everyone still talks about it!

SMART goals! Ever heard that before? I know you have. I haven’t met a single person who hasn’t heard of this time-tested strategy for personal growth and development.

SMART stands for:

  • Specific – target a specific area for improvement
  • Measurable – quantify or at least suggest an indicator of progress
  • Attainable – assess practicality of the goal
  • Realistic – state what results can realistically be achieved, given available resources
  • Time-related – specify when the result(s) can be achieved
(source: Wikipedia)

Here’s my pet peeve — the world has changed immensely since SMART goals were discovered. I understand it’s got a universal appeal and is timeless as far as the spirit of the principle is concerned. But, SMART goals doesn’t do anything when it comes to the “real” challenges that we face in our daily lives.

In fact, I think it just adds to the pressure instead of releasing it. Being specific and measurable helps, but being realistic and time-bound doesn’t make things easy for us. Does it? I don’t know what to do with the “assignable” bit — it doesn’t work in most cases when it comes to personal and professional development. You’re all by yourself.

I’ve been looking for a viable alternative for the past several years until last evening when my friend (let’s call him David) called me. He told me about this new video program that he’d purchased from Brendon Burchard’s website (I think it’s called the Achievement Accelerator program). The program focuses on personal development for the most part and I hear it’s quite motivating.

David told me how Brendon doesn’t want people to set SMART goals (see, I love this guy already!) and instead set DUMB goals! Whoa! That got my attention. It’s just the opposite of what I’ve been hearing all my adult life — to actually be DUMB about your goals!

DUMB stands for:

  • Dream focused — the big picture is important, that’s what drives you
  • Uplifting — should motivate you and help you get closer to your dream
  • Method-based — should be based on a methodology than random shots at the target (there’s always a method to the madness!)
  • Behavior-triggered — have one of your key (and common) behaviors become a trigger to set your ball rolling (for example, every morning I get up and meditate on the bed — getting up is the trigger!)

Brendon just made goal setting so simple! So simple that you don’t even have to think (hard) anymore! Believe me, nothing sucks up more energy than unnecessary thinking. That’s why we are seeing more people moving towards the simplicity-revolution. (Not that I want you to consider it seriously.)

I think it’s just the right strategy for just about anyone under the sun. Simplify and be a little DUMBer!

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