Why you need to set SMART goals and DUMB goals to be successful and happy

In order to be successful, happy, and fulfilled, it is important to set SMART goals and DUMB goals. SMART goals help give you the structure and discipline to set goals you can attain. However, DUMB goals help you to push and challenge yourself to pursue you dreams. SMART goals is an acronym that stands for goals that are Specific, Measurable, Action-oriented, Realistic, and TIME oriented. For example, spending 20 minutes a day 4 times week f exercising for the next month is a SMART goal. DUMB goals is an acronym that stands for Dreams, Uplifting, Method, and Beyond Comfort Zone. For example, traveling around the world may be a DUMB goal. I believe we need both SMART and DUMB goals to find true success and happiness.



The S stands for specific rather than vague. Spending 20 minutes a day 4 times a week exercising is specific because it is something you can define and know exactly what it means. This is important because it gives you structure and clearly defines your goal. Specific goals are better than a vague goal, which may be to “get healthy” because the vague goal of getting healthy is hard to define and therefore more difficult to know whether you achieve it or not.


The M in SMART goals stands for measurable. Similar to specific, it is important to have measurable goals because it is important to know if you are making progress or not in your goal by measuring it. For example, you can measure whether or not you are going for a walk 4 days a week. However, you can not exactly measure whether or not you are getting healthy.


The A in SMART goals stand for action-oriented. This means the goal is based on execution or effort you are putting forth, rather than the end result. For example, going on a walk is an action you are taking or effort you are putting forth. Alternatively, losing 10 pounds is a result. It is helpful to set action-oriented goals because you have more control over your effort and whether you execute something rather than whether or not you achieve the end result. Setting action-oriented goals also helps you build confidence and self-efficacy because you have more control over whether you achieve them and when you do achieve them that helps you feel more confident. Over time, the confidence you gain by setting and achieving action-oriented goals can help you to achieve more results-oriented goals.


The R is SMART goals stands for realistic. SMART goals should be realistic by challenging yourself to achieve the goal so you are pushing yourself a little bit beyond your comfort zone but not so high that you it is virtually impossible to achieve. For example, going on a walk is likely a realistic goal, but doing 1000 pushups a day likely would not be. Again, setting and achieving realistic goals helps you feel more in control, builds your confidence, and over time allows you to achieve greater goals. For example, making sure your air conditioner is working is realistic and can be accomplished with the help of Jack Harrison Air.


The T in SMART stands for Time-oriented. SMART goals should be Time-oriented because it is easier to measure and helps you know when you have achieved your goal. For example, walking 4 days a week for a month is time-oriented because you know you will have achieved it in a month. Again, setting and achieving time-oriented goals helps you to give you some structure and a timeline for achieving your goal, which also helps you to move on and set other goals. For example, using Silver Cross to get home accessibility products within one month may be time-oriented.

SMART goals are very practical and useful to help you build discipline, focus, and structure to achieve useful goals. However, I would argue that in order to feel truly fulfilled and happy in life it is also a good idea to set DUMB goals. DUMB goals stand for Dream or Destiny goals, Uplifting, Method, Barely reachable. Michelangelo said, “The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.” This quote epitomizes the potential danger of SMART goals and why we need both SMART and DUMB goals. SMART goals may help you achieve practical goals. However, since the practical goals are reachable and practical, they may not inspire you to reach outside your comfort zone and pursue you dreams. DUMB goals help inspire you to go beyond what you thought was possible and follow your dreams.

DUMB Goals

Dream or Destiny Driven

The D is DUMB stands for dream or destiny driven goals. Going on a walk is a helpful goal, but probably not your dream in life. What are your dreams in life. Do you have the courage to pursue them. What is holding you back? Your dreams should inspire you, make you feel alive, generate excitement, meaning and purpose in your life. For example, being a public speaker may be destiny driven. If that is your dream, then consider going to Speakers’ Spotlight.


The U in DUMB goals stands for uplifting. DUMB goals should be uplifting or something that makes you feel happy, joyful, or enthusiastic about life. For example, imagine a life where you are happy, joyful, and enthusiastic when you get out the bed in the morning. What does that life look like for you. This is unique to you, but I believe part of who we are at our core and this uplifting vision can motivate us to take action when we are feeling down.


The M in DUMB goals stand for method-driven. For example, there is a method to achieving your dreams. You may not know the exact plan for achieving your goals or dreams right now. However, you can take some action on daily basis to achieve it. This may mean that you read a book about other people who have achieve the same dream or learn more about a subject matter, but there are some actions you can take on a daily basis to achieve your dreams

Beyond comfort zone

The B in DUMB goals stands for beyond comfort zone DUMB goals help you push yourself beyond your comfort zone. Usually to achieve a dream or DUMB goal you have to be willing to do things that other people may not expect you to do, push yourself to go beyond your comfort zone, or set goals that scare you a little because you may fail. However, when you push yourself beyond your comfort zone, that allows you to become the best version of yourself and feel a sense of accomplishment that would not be possible had you stayed in your comfort zone.

Some people argue that SMART goals are better than DUMB goals. While others argue that DUMB goals are better than SMART goals. However, I believe we need both to be happy and successful. SMART goals help you stay grounded and manage your daily needs and responsibilities. You may not be inspired or dreaming about exercising every day, but that can help give you the health, energy, and discipline to complete other responsibilities in life. However, if we just pursue SMART goals and avoid DUMB goals, then we may be selling ourselves short and live a life wondering what might have been.