Quit Making Dumb Goals. Make them S-M-A-R-T.

I teach a lot on goal-setting at various conferences and with my coaching clients. Depending on my time with them, I may delve deeper into other related issues, but a core piece of my goal-setting process is the SMART method.

The SMART method is pretty easy and simple to remember. It’s one of the reasons I use it. It stands for…

S- Specific

M- Measurable

A- Achievable

R- Results Based

T- Time Oriented


Here’s an example from my own life…

At the beginning of the year I weighed 243 lbs. My goal for the end of the year is to weigh in as a light heavyweight at 206 lbs or less. That means a loss of 37 lbs for the year, 3.08 lbs per month, or 0.71 lbs per week. Now this is a SMART goal.

Specific– Weigh in at the end of the year at 206 pounds or less.

Measurable– I can look at the scales and see if I’m on track or not.

Achievable– 0.71 pounds per week is very achievable and healthy. Something crazy like 5 pounds per week would be unhealthy.

Results Based– The entire goal is based on my weight results.

Time Oriented– Get it done by the end of January 31. Maybe if I do better than expected I can eat more junk on New Year’s Eve to celebrate the end of the year and meeting my goal.

As of my weigh-in on Monday I’ve lost 5 lbs in 7 weeks, which is 0.71 lbs per week, give or take 15 or more decimal places. I’m right on schedule so far. This is even better than you think because I started my new lifestyle change halfway into January. I’m still going to stick with the beginning of the year as my start date though.

That’s it. I’m doing great on my plan, have set a great set of goals, and I’m well on my way to success. I want you to do the same. I recommend starting small, like this…

  1. Take something you consider a goal or a dream. It could be better fitness, a cruise vacation, or anything that sits unaccomplished.
  2. Grab a piece of paper and write that goal at the top.
  3. Go through the SMART method with your goal. Do not skip any steps. If it doesn’t fit SMART, then you may need to change the goal so that it does.
  4. Now complete it.

I hope this plan helps you. If you would like to delve deeper into goal-setting, please get in touch. I frequently speak at conferences on this topic and also use it to coach individuals in high stress/high danger occupations in career transition.

This message was written by a team of geeks, nerds, gamers, and Dr. David Powers. You can always find us at www.drdavidpowers.com. Thanks for reading!


My fave goal-setting book by Brian Tracy

Disclaimer- I didn’t invent the SMART method. I first heard it taught in college. The method was first presented by George T. Doran in a 1981 issue of Management Review. 

Be a Part of Something Bigger

I know that many of you need more adventure in your life. That many of you yearn for something bigger, something more. It could be because your job is slowly crushing your soul. It could that every time you see a picture in a magazine it first stirs your heart and then leaves you in a slobbering puddle of depression because you don’t think it’s possible.

I found this pic as I perused an issue of Overland Journal. This is the kind of thing that stirs me…packing my family into a capable vehicle and autotrekking into the unknown. The tagline about becoming part of a legend really gets me too.

Be a Part of the Legend-GoXVenture

Find that thing that stirs you, but don’t let it crush you. Let it inspire you instead.

If you need any help finding adventure- of any kind, in any life- just get in touch.

This message was written by a team of geeks, nerds, gamers, and Dr. David Powers. You can always find us at www.drdavidpowers.com. Thanks for reading!

Wisconsin EMS Symposium 2016 Resources


This blog post is here for attendees at any of my lectures for the 2016 Wisconsin EMS Symposium to access resources I referenced. If you happen to come across it otherwise, feel free to also partake of the offerings.

FREE copy of my book The Future of EMS– Click HERE to get to the free e-version on Amazon. This offer is only good the week of the symposium, so if you’re clicking any other time, it is still available, just not free.

Future of EMS_Vertical Cover

If you didn’t get a chance to sign up for my newsletter after the lecture, you can do that HERE.

Good Medics Gone Bad– The lecture discussed cases in which emergency workers went over to the dark side. Situations included were a suicide bomber, various examples of white-collar corruption across the U.S., and sexual crimes all committed by those we call ‘brothers in arms’. The lecture wasn’t a bashing session on those who did wrong but an analysis of why they did it, how to avoid these tendencies in ourselves, and what to look for among our fellow workers.

I didn’t give any references for this lecture, but, if you’re interested in more, a simple Internet search will help you here. I’m assuming that some of you may research this more because of specific problems in your own agencies. In other words, just search for “EMS” or “Fire” and the issue you need more information on, such as drugs, theft, alcoholism, hazing, or other.

Becoming an EMS Mentalist– We all know that patients, partners, and bystanders always tell the truth, right? How do we really know when they don’t, unless it’s painfully obvious? It’s possible to learn the seemingly ‘magic’ tricks employed by Simon Baker on the popular television show The Mentalist and employ those same tricks to aid us in EMS work. Simple looks, head nods, and the words used are sometimes all it takes. Not only can these tricks help you in providing better patient care, they can also help you become a better employee by increasing your confidence, self-esteem, and mental acuity. Learn how to become an EMS Mentalist.

I referenced the following books in this one…

How to Become a Mentalist by Simon Winthrop

Mastermind- How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes by Maria Konnikova

If you’re interested in the Mentalist television show as well, you can find that HERE.

My Wife Hates Me, My Kids Don’t Know Me, and I Think I have a Dog– There are seven key areas of life that we all experience or should if we only made the time. Instead of balancing our lives as we should, we all spend too much time somewhere to the detriment of the other areas in life. It could be work, hobbies, education, or anything that takes too much priority. For those of us in the small business world it usually happens to be work. This imbalance has an impact on all parts of our lives and can cause disastrous consequences. It endangers our relationships, our success, and even our own lives. Find out what it means to balance your life for maximum enjoyment and hopefully get back to knowing those people you call friends and family. Think about how it could make everything better at work, at home, and at play.

I actually published a book based on this lecture that goes more in depth. You can find it right HERE.

marriage-relationship-Dr. Powers

I hope all of you enjoyed my lectures. As always I’m available for any questions you might have about anything I covered.

This message was written by a team of geeks, nerds, gamers, and Dr. David Powers. You can always find us at www.drdavidpowers.com. Thanks for reading!

You’re Never Too Old for Adventure

As part of their homeschool I’m doing a bit of a psyops/Napolean Hill tactic with my kids by exposing them to success on a constant basis. I worked through Dan Miller’s free goal planning book at the end of the year with my 11 and 8 yo boys, and now they’re set with pages of plans, dreams, and action steps.

Each of them identified a basic career goal to work toward.

  • My 11yo wants to be a pro basketball star (or baller, as he calls it).
  • My 8yo wants to be a running coach.

So, each day I have them engage in some sort of media that shows people doing what they want to do. It ranges from magazine articles to Youtube videos.

My little runner and I watched this video the other day about a guy way past his prime at 65 who refuses to quit and still wants to get back and do another 100 miler. Even if you’re not a runner, I thought some of you might enjoy it as well, simply for the inspiration that age doesn’t matter. It’s simply an excuse if you let it stop you.

You can find the video right HERE.


This message was written by a team of geeks, nerds, gamers, and Dr. David Powers. You can always find us at www.drdavidpowers.com. Thanks for reading!

PS…Age is one of the excuses I counter in my keynote session Top Ten Reasons to Fail. If you’d like me to present it to your organization, give me a call.


How do I think and grow rich?

Who is this crazy Dan Miller guy?

How old is too old to be awesome?

Finished My First Book of the Year

Last year I read 53 books. A few years before I read well over a hundred and set my personal record. But the downside to reading so many books was that I didn’t retain as much. I’m trying to cultivate a love of reading in my kids, and I’d love to tell you about what I’m reading so that I can interest you too in diving into a book.

Yesterday I finished my first book of this year. I wouldn’t even call it a reading so much as a research project, as I working through this book for a lecture I’m giving on the subject. The downside is that it took forever to read the book. The upside is that I gained a better understanding by doing so.

The book is How to Be a Mentalist by Simon Winthrop. I was a huge fan of The Mentalist television show and the interesting and quirky skills he used on it. If you’re a fan of the subject, I’d consider this book a great intro to the topic, but you’ll need to study a lot more to really learn it, or, as the book states multiple times, jump into hands-on practice.

In a couple of weeks I’ll be delivering a lecture to a medical conference on how physicians and medics can use these skills to improve patient care.


This message was written by a team of geeks, nerds, gamers, and Dr. David Powers. You can always find us at www.drdavidpowers.com. Thanks for reading!


How to Be a Mentalist

Do You Take Shortcuts?

A lot of people take shortcuts in life. Sometimes it’s as small as cutting through a parking lot to get around traffic. Other times it’s a little more serious like trying to bypass the law to make money. Sometimes they work. Sometimes they don’t. Sometimes they’re beneficial. Sometimes they land you in jail.

In dealing with adventure and our search for it in daily life, I urge you to take the long way around. I’m gearing up for a trip to Wisconsin in the coming weeks to deliver several lectures at a medical conference. The conference is also paying for travel, and most speakers fly, leaving the morning of their lecture and flying home a few hours after.

Not me.

I’m taking the long way ’round.

Instead of a 4 hour flight or even a 9 hour drive straight there, I’m planning on an 8 day excursion that will include several museums, a handful of state highpoints, and lots of non-Interstate autotrekking.

If you yearn for adventure, try taking the long way around next time. It doesn’t have to be a trip either. Just take any activity and make it so. Want an example? Sure you do.

The next time you visit your fave coffee shop or eatery, take some time. Don’t just grab and go and certainly don’t go through the drive-thru. Go inside. Talk to the person serving you. Make it a point to learn their name (hint- it’s usually on their name tag) and something about them. Have a seat and enjoy your whatever. Do some people watching. Enjoy the long way around.

Here’s a great ad I saw in a recent Overland Journal that kind of sums up my sentiment…

Shortcuts-BMW-ad-posted Jan 2016

If this ad or the ideal piques your interest, you should check out my friend Justin Lukasavige and his excursions. He and his wife are on a goal to travel each and every pass in Colorado on their BMW motorcycles. You can find him on Twitter at @lukasavige.

This message was written by a team of geeks, nerds, gamers, and Dr. David Powers. You can always find us at www.drdavidpowers.com. Thanks for reading!

My theme for the coming year is Adventure

I’m focusing all my efforts next year on the theme of adventure. My personal purpose statement, the true north of my compass that I will evaluate all endeavors and opportunities by will also revolve around this. I’ll tell you more about it as time goes on, but for now, I’ll leave you with a few words from Dr. Strange that I hope defines my life in the coming year.

Walking thru the netherworld-Dr Strange-001

Oh yeah, if this isn’t enough, I closed out the previous year hiking a new trail with several waterfall crossings, started the new year by hiking a trail that involved a narrow bridge crossing, squeezing through a small cave, and yet again several more waterfall crossings. All this with my entire family, including my parents, which made for three generations of my family from age 65 on down to 2.

But wait, there’s more. Me and my 8yo son spent the better part of today hiking in sub-freezing temperatures that ended with us running headlong across a swinging bridge to see a frozen waterfall.

Soon I’ll be revealing several new things, including…

  • A board game related to my coaching practice and adventures
  • A new keynote lecture
  • Several new books to be published this year

This message was written by a team of geeks, nerds, gamers, and Dr. David Powers. You can always find us at www.drdavidpowers.com. Thanks for reading!


Want to know more about Dr. Strange?

Waterfalls and caves interest you?