Writing STUPID Goals

Most of us are familiar with setting SMART goals. Sometimes, it is helpful to understand a concept by looking at its opposite. That is why I have come up with STUPID goals. Here are some tips to writing STUPID goals.



Begin small.  Think small.  Why go for big and be disappointed later?  Set the bar low and you’ll be sure to hit it. With small goals you won’t have to figure out ways you can make them come true. You won’t have to develop the attitudes, abilities, skills, and financial capacity to reach them.


Make sure to set goals that are trivial and uninspiring. That way when you don’t reach them, it won’t really matter to you or anyone else.

Unclear and unrealistic: 

Set goals that are unclear.  Leave out the five “W” questions:

    • Who:      Who is involved?
    • What:     What do I want to accomplish?
    • Where:    Identify a location.
    • When:     Establish a time frame.
    • Why:      Specific reasons, purpose or benefits of accomplishing the goal.

An example of an unclear goal might be “Get some exercise.”   An unrealistic goal would be to work out 5 hours a day, 8 days a week.  I mean, who really has time to work out five hours?


Make your goal puzzling, confusing and ill-defined so it cannot be measured. That way you won’t know if you ever reach it. With no concrete criteria for measuring progress, you won’t have the pressure to stay on track or reach target dates.

Inaccessible or Impossible:

With goals like this, why even try. You are bound to fail anyway. With goals like these, you do not have to risk wasted emotional energy getting motivated since they are totally out of reach.


A distant goal is never urgent and has no time frame attached to it. It is dateless. Why put undue pressure on yourself to accomplish something this week or this month when you could put it off indefinitely.

What are other words describe STUPID goals?

About Steve Morgan

I work in Global Leadership Development with my wife, Terry. We have been married for 36 years and have 4 grown children. I have a Masters in Global Leadership together through Azusa Pacific University. I generally write about 5 “L’s: Living Well, Loving Deeply, Learning Continuously, Leading Courageously, and Leaving a Legacy. I occasionally write about Laughing Loudly. Subscribe on the right side to receive an email whenever there is a new post. I invite you to leave your comments so we can dialogue on the various topics and learn from each other. If you are new to the site, you might start with looking at some of the top posts or doing a search on the right sidebar for one of the 5 “L’s” that interest you. Or you can view the blog archives for topics. Photo Credit: sarahjoellephotography.com
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5 Responses to Writing STUPID Goals

  1. Steve, I love the creativity of this. Made my day.

  2. Reblogged this on Dr. Ray Wheeler's Blog and commented:
    The new year is a natural time of reflection and much will be written about the importance of reflection. Steve Morgan encapsulates the pitfall of writing goals. Enjoy the read.

  3. Eneyda Reyes says:

    Thanks Steve. Very useful for my next steps. Happy New Year 🙂

  4. Pingback: What’s Your Goal: Cammy | Leader Impact

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