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SMART Goals vs DUMB Goals

SMART Goals vs DUMB Goals

We’ve heard it for the first time from our parents when we were kids (okay, teenagers) – set your goals.

But how exactly? Our parents most likely explained it to us with so much vigor but we were just too stubborn to listen.

Well, I was.

So, I continued to move on with my life, being the stubborn Taurean that I am…

I graduated from college, worked in various companies and had my own family…

This is actually how I learned to set my goals. Setting my goals through trial and error. Trial and error meaning from having none to having one. 😉

How did I do it?

I started to set up S.M.A.R.T. goals.

S – pecific
M – easurable
A – chievable
R – ealistic
T – imebound

I asked myself:

  • What was it that I wanted to achieve and why?
  • How much effort, time and money will it take me to achieve my goal?
  • Is my husband in agreement with my goals? How will the kids be affected?
  • Is my goal actually achievable or just a long-shot-airy-fairy-dream?
  • When do I plan to achieve my goals? When was my deadline?

What was my goal?

My goal was to have my own house like all families aspire to have. This is something very important to me because I grew up living with my grandfather together with my mom, dad and brother…and aunt, uncles, cousins and dogs… It was hard but I also felt so blessed for the mere fact that I had a roof over my head. But I couldn’t let that happen to my own kids.

I knew this goal would entail a lot of hard work (and lots of time praying, I must say). Although, the earning and saving up part was the most difficult.

My husband supported me 100% with this goal. I knew he would. He is fearless – in a positive way.

I had days when I felt I can’t do it and that my life dream can only be achieved when I’m in my unconscious state. But I refused to sleep on my dream and believed it was realistic, achievable, feasible, possible.

Our aim was to have a house after 3 years.

So what happened to this S.M.A.R.T. goal of mine?

In soccer terms, it was a goal.

This is when I realized that setting a specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, time-bound goal is very important.

So, I went on to set another goal – to have my own Virtual Assistant team in a year.

With so much excitement, I tapped some of the brilliant people I know within my circle. I did my best to train them, gave them an opportunity to learn by doing, provided them all the tools they needed and offered a fair compensation.

What happened to this goal?

In soccer terms, it’s was dead ball situation.

I take full responsibility for it. I think I had all the excitement but didn’t have the leadership skill to manage a virtual team. I thought my excitement then was “grit” but I was wrong. Well, maybe it was but it wasn’t enough.

A lot of other things happened in between that crashed my heart. I wanted it to work so bad but my goal didn’t become a reality.

This situation made me assess myself entirely especially when it comes to setting my goals. It led me to not setting any goals at all. Nothing motivated me to get back in the game. My SMART goal was a failure.

I didn’t spend my time drowning in the ocean of my broken dream. Instead, I started to read books, listened to audiobooks and podcasts of motivational speakers and influencers from various fields like digital marketing, business and leadership.

I ended up loving Brendon Burchard. I thought he was different and at the same time familiar. He is annoying, funny, inspiring and absolutely awesome!

I bought some of his books and went close to enrolling in one of his courses. If only I can afford it. 🙂

In one of his The Charged Life video series, he mentioned that there is no joy in being a SMART goal person and that D.U.M.B. goals are better. This really got my attention.

What’s a D.U.M.B. goal by the way?

D – ream-Driven
U – plifting
M – ethod-Friendly
B – ehavior-Driven

Watch his video below about How NOT to Set Goals (Why S.M.A.R.T. goals are lame)

I now I ask myself these questions:

  • What’s my bigger vision for my life?
  • What really inspires me?
  • How will I work towards my bigger goal that will help me be in my A game all the time?
  • How do I remind myself to consistently work on chasing for my goal?

SMART goals vs DUMB goals – which one is it?

As much as I love Brendon Burchard, I think I couldn’t go all the way DUMB.

I’m inclined to setting up a mix of both SMART and DUMB goals.

Nobody is always smart or always dumb, right?

What are your thoughts?

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Gwenn Doria

Founder and Author at Virtual Success Avenue
Hey there, awesome! I started this blog because I understand the challenges of starting out and thriving as a professional working from home. My aim is to empower aspiring and fellow Virtual Assistants by sharing tips, inspiring stories and lessons learned about the Virtual Assistant industry. Get to know me more by visiting the "About Me" page. 🙂 Cheers!