Smart Goals are Dumbing Us Down

Posted on December 16, 2020

Ryan Stewman



Ever since I can remember being in the self-improvement space, I’ve seen the catchy acronym of S.M.A.R.T. goals used to help individuals map out what they want.

The acronym stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely.

The headline of this article may be a little harsh, as I don’t believe these “SMART” goals make us stupid. I believe they have a time and place for some people with some aspects of life. However, I’d like to offer a different perspective, one I hope encourages you to broaden your mindset and set your sights a little/lot higher.

See, these smart goals are developed to set parameters for something you’re striving for and put a timeframe around them. A goal without a deadline has no urgency and in my experience, is rarely achieved. So I do like that portion. What I DON’T like about this structure is it tends to encourage safety. It persuades the goal setter to make sure the goal is realistic and can be achieved.

I don’t know about you, but to me, that sounds more like something that belongs on a to-do list.

When it comes to sales, you can put numbers to almost anything and reverse engineer the process.


If you want to make $100K, $500K, $1mil+ per year, you can break it down into how much you need to make per day to make it happen. I’m not saying it’s easy, but it’s math.

What I like to see are YUUUGGGE goals, frightening goals, goals that truly make you look in the mirror and ask yourself if it’s even humanly possible to achieve and if you have the fortitude to stick with it when shit goes sideways.

Goals of Edison status that you’re willing to fail 1000 times before getting it right. Goals like colonizing Mars and recreational travel into outer space. We know people are working on this as we speak, and I’d be curious to see if they have a tidy little notepad with their SMART objectives for these insanely audacious goals.

As a health and fitness professional, I have a goal to Make America Fit Again. Sure it’s a marketing schtick, but it really is what I’m striving to achieve in my career. Can it become a reality? I honestly have no f**king idea!! It requires so many more moving components than myself, and it will take a movement of millions to see a sizable decrease in our obesity rates come to fruition.

I can’t possibly put a timeline to this goal of mine, and so much is out of my control in the attainment portion. But I’ll be damned if I let any of that deter me from the pursuit.

I believe most of us have some big ass scary goal we don’t want to share because once it’s out of the box, you can’t put it back in. I also believe if you have a vision, it’s your obligation to pursue it to its fullest extent. Yep, it’s yours for the taking!

Utilize SMART goals when needed, but don’t be afraid to get uncomfortable and go after the big shit that can change the world!

Aaannnddd GO❗️

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