Don’t Let Your Goals Be Dumb

by Kevin on January 7, 2009

It’s the new year and everyone around the web is declaring goals for 2009. But before we start to define every goal, we need a basic framework.

There are two types of goals. D.U.M.B. goals and S.M.A.R.T. goals. SMART is an actual term taught in various classes; I was first introduced to it in a management class in college. I’m making up the dumb goals acronym myself.

DUMB goals:

  • Delusional – your goal is completely unrealistic.
  • Undefined – your goal is vague and lacks any type of structure.
  • Mediocre – your goal is easy to achieve and doesn’t represent a true challenge.
  • Boring – your goal isn’t something you can stay committed to acheiving because it doesn’t really interest you.

Dumb goals are… dumb. You won’t find success if your goals remain dumb. Instead, you should be using smart goals.

SMART goals:

  • Specific – answers multiple questions about the goal to provide specifics (think of the Ws: who, what, when, where, etc.)
  • Measurable – the goal is measurable. “I will save $1,000 in four months” can be measured. “Save money the next four months” is not measurable.
  • Attainable – is the goal something you can actually achieve? I’m going to go out on a limb and say that “Save $1,000,000 in 30 days” is not attainable for every single reader of this blog.
  • Realistic – this is similar to attainable. Is this goal something you are willing and able to work toward?
  • Time-bound – the goal has a time frame (which also helps in measurement). Saying you want to save a specific amount of money by an unspecific amount of time greatly increases the chances you will land short of your goal.

I think this is a pretty easy concept to understand. You don’t necessarily have to remember the specific acronyms. Just remember that goals shouldn’t be vague. Layers of detail will help you put one foot in front of the other on your march to success.

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MoneyGrubbingLawyer January 7, 2009 at 7:31 am

I like the DUMB acronym. It seems like the majority of the resolutions I hear fit into one or more of those categories!

Kevin January 7, 2009 at 8:14 am

That MGL. I like it too and I hadn’t seen D.U.M.B. anywhere else. Time to write a book and hit the jackpot!

No More Student Loans January 7, 2009 at 7:22 pm

Great post! I could defintely use this.

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