Life Skills 101 #2. Part two of Goal setting

In the last life skill missive, we looked at SMART goal setting, and to continue with this, it is time to unpack DUMB goal setting.  

D Desperate

U Unlikely to succeed

M Monumental

B Bollocks,


D is for Desperate.

This sort of plan is a reactive cluster in response to an unanticipated, unforeseen, or wilfully ignored problem. Some sort of immediate action is required, so choices and decisions need to made.

Right Now.

If you have let things get this far, then it is also likely that your instant decision making skills will be as shabby as your forward planning. None of this bodes well.

U is for Unlikely to succeed

The sort of measures required to pull through desperate times tend towards the unrealistic or draconian. This might be okay in the short term, but for anything longer than a month, your simply setting yourself up to fail. Miserably.

M is for Monumental

As in it is going to be a monumental cock up. To many DUMB goals rely on assumptions, or a lucky roll of the dice. This even more of a cock up when the assumption or die throw is right at the end of the plan

B is for Bollocks

This comes at the end of this mnemonic as the phrase “ Oh Bollocks “ usually accompanies the end of any DUMB action plan towards any given goal.


DUMB action plans are usually in response to something wilfully ignored until it’s too late, something unanticipated, or something unforeseen. If a situation requires a DUMB response you are clearly in the bad place, and need to move. Try to step back from it, metaphorically. Take a deep breath, and see if you cannot turn a DUMB plan into a SMART plan. Try a bit of forward planning. You may find a cup of tea helps.

Have a splendid day.


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