Tuesday, January 30, 2007


Setting Unreasonable Goals

Guest Post By Robert Middleton:

I heard a guy on NPR last night (This American Life) talking about devoting his life to developing a time machine. I thought to myself, "What an idiot, doesn't everyone know that time travel is impossible?" But as the story progressed, it turns out he actually developed a device that does in fact alter time. Look, I don't know how. This quantum mechanics stuff is a little beyond me.

But apparently there's some scientific validity to the thing and he's been acknowledged by his peers in the physics community for this.This got me thinking about goals.You've probably read a lot about goal setting. Perhaps you've heard of the famous "S.M.A.R.T." formula - Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time Specific. Well that's OK, but it's not really the best way to set goals.To set and achieve goals you need to be unreasonable. We tend to completely undermine ourselves by being reasonable. And unfortunately, the S.M.A.R.T. formula is totally reasonable.

It keeps you inside a very rigid box of what's possible. But why do you want to set goals that are possible? You want to set goals that are impossible. (At least from your current point of view.) You want to set goals that set you on fire. Goals that take passion, sweat, blood and tears to achieve. This time machine fellow was TOTALLY unreasonable. And perhaps it got him somewhere.

I'm not suggesting you become totally unreasonable, but at least partially unreasonable! It will take you places you hadn't dreamed of before (maybe even through time).What kind of things am I talking about? The amount of money you can make in a year Most hope to make more; some plan to make more; and some shoot for the starts and actually make a whole lot more. (And usually have a blast doing it.) What would happen if you tripled your income this year? Unreasonable, but not impossible.

The kind of clients and projects you can attractYou could get virtually anyone as a client if you set your mind to it. Perhaps not tomorrow, but sooner than you think. I've seen it happen over and over with my clients and group participants in just two or three months. They went for it and it happened. Creating and implementing a huge projectYou can play it safe and decide to write that book or develop that program or launch that project someday (not technically a day of the week). Or you can start it now.

Why keep putting off yours until a more reasonable time?"OK, Robert, I appreciate the pep talk, do you have some tips to get me off the dime and set some unreasonable goals? You're right; I do think too small and I get stuck. And I want to think bigger and really go for it. How?"Glad you asked. Here's a few things I've learned. I give you my not-so-famous I.T.O.C.A.

Formula:1. IMAGINE you're on your death bed looking back. And you say to your loved ones gathered around, "You know I've had a pretty good life, but I really wish I'd done X." What is X? That's your unreasonable goal.2. THINK about it all the time. Don't push it out of your mind. Obsess about it; brainstorm and draw mind maps. Get the idea out of the abstract and into the concrete. Form a mastermind group and kick around ideas. Make it real. 3. Be aware of OPPORTUNITIES and coincidences that present themselves. You couldn't see them before, but now, with increased focus on your goal, you'll start seeing, reading, hearing about things that are connected to your goal. Explore these things. They're there to help you.4. When the time is right, make a COMMITMENT. On the TV poker shows they talk about going "ALL IN." Don't hold back. Make a promise, not based on knowing how to achieve your goal, but on your desire to make it real. If you have to know how ahead of time, you'll never take the leap.5. ACTION. Now it's time for the real work, and that consists of putting one foot in front of the other every single day. Keep things alive by creating action plans, researching, asking for assistance, and networking with like-minded people. In other words, create an environment in which the goal can be realized.

Imagine, Think, Opportunities, Commitment, Action: I.T.O.C.A.Now that's a pretty bad acronym compared to S.M.A.R.T., but I promise you it's a better formula for getting what you truly desire.

*The More Clients Bottom Line: What's your unreasonable goal? What's the thing you want to achieve more than anything else? Now take a look around and notice that nobody is going to make it happen if you don't.

*Share your unreasonable goal on the more Clients Blog this week. http://www.actionplan.blogs.com

By Robert Middleton of Action Plan Marketing. Please visitRobert's web site at www.actionplan.com for additional marketing articles and resources on marketing for professional service businesses."

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