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January 30, 2007


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Winnie Anderson

Great post Robert. This needs to be said over and over. A terrific book on the subject is HARD Goals by Mark Murphy. He's done research that proves SMART goals don't do anything other than keep people locked in mediocrity.

David Sneen

Your blog post reminded me of the ancient Chinese proverb, "The man who says its impossible should not interrupt the man doing it."

I have a big project in front of me. I shall focus intensely on it, reread your post, and go for a long walk and let the two intermingle in my brain.

Bonginkosi Mzila

I agree that we need to think outside the box, which I do not think the SMART formula prohibits us from doing, I take this formula as a management system for my day-to-day steps towards my bigger dream...

"The world makes way for those who know where they are going".

Barry Morris

It's great to present an alternative to the S.M.A.R.T. goal concept. Traditional goal setting never held a lot of success for me over the years.

I recently gave my readers an eBook (free of course here also) that presented a new way of looking at goals. I call it the Smart Target System.

Action Plan readers are welcome to it as well. They can download it here:

By setting up targets (think of a bull's-eye with two outer rings), each ring represents a way to 'win.'

It works for me!

Barry W. Morris

Lani Voivod

I found your blog by way of Kevin Skarritt at In fact, he used your blog entry as a way to make my husband and I feel better about the work we did last month, pursuing a bucket full of totally UNREASONABLE goals.

So I'd like to thank you, Robert, validating our insane efforts by demonstrating they were perfectly in line with the I.T.O.C.A. method. Those "S.M.A.R.T." alternatives never did catch on with us. ;)

Great blog post,
Lani Voivod
"A-Ha Yourself!"

Jeff Meyer

My "unreasonable goal" is to evolve personal development processes that produce consistent and lasting results for anyone at any stage of their growth. Is that realistic? Probably not.

However I view that as a "vision/mission/life purpose", rather that as a goal (reasonable or unreasonable).

To me a goal is what you have in step 5. The vision is what keeps you inspired to do those action steps.

At that stage, the S.M.A.R.T. formula may help, but without the "vision", it's a waste of time.

Jeff Meyer

Ian Reid / Australia

I truely believe reaching for the clouds is something everyone can strive for and with the right passion and direction can achieve.Unreasonable goal setting can be dangerious for (some) people as their concept of achievable can be distorted and unrealistic.The whole issue is an individual one as what suits me will never suit someone else. I started me working life as a farm machinery mechanic and am now the General manager of a large accountancy firm, did I have dreams, did I have a vision,did I take any opportunities that came my way,did I network? the answer to all these questions is a resounding YES.


I love your passion and insight, Robert. (HOW ARE YOU???)

My ultimate goal and dream is to make my photography my life's profession. It is slowly but surely coming together with hard work and inspiration from people like yourself.

Excellent article. Thank you.

Andrea Hess

I think I might actually have to disagree on this one ... or at least bring up a couple of issues with the "unrealistic" approach to goal setting.

I'm a big fan of setting goals that I call "on the far side of realistic" - basically, just a little beyond what we would assume is reasonable. But I would stay away from "unreasonable" goals.

If we truly think our goals are unreasonable, our own belief systems and doubt mechanisms may start working against us, even as we pursue our unrealistic goal. We are sending out two disparate energetic messages. One is "here's what I want" and the other is "but I'll never get it because it's not realistic."

So I'm all in favor of thinking big - but if your belief system does not allow for the possibility of your goal, then you may be undermining your efforts.

Intuitive Consultant

Tom Wohlmut

It's better to aim high in life and possibly make it than to aim low and reach it easily.

Thanks for a great blog.

Paul Hobart

Great article. I'm all for the reasonable goal, as I think it can be a part of the unreasonable goal. My unreasonable goal for the year is to start my web multimedia business and have it contribute to doubling my income for the year. I'll also be doubling my golf instruction business by expanding to two or three facilities.
Good luck all!

Grateful Lisa

Interesting perspective, Robert. Thanks. My unreasonable goal? Winning a Grammy for Song of the Year.

Tom Asacker

Very well said Robert!

Sean Winstead

Early last year, I was on a project where I was quite stressed and periodically working through the night. At that time, I decided that my ideal working day was 6 hours in length and set a goal of working only 6 hours a day by the end of the year. Of course, I didn't believe I would ever really be able to do that. At the time, I was devoted to one customer. And they wanted me to be their employee. In November, when I told them I was going to pursue another customer, it worked out such that I was replaced on the project. So now I finally found my goal to be achievable. I was in a position to work only 6 hours a day. That didn't stick for long, because I had to find more customers and continue working to bring in revenue. But it was funny to see how my goal became achievable in a way that I didn't expect.

Laurie Luck

It's scary to set your goals high and then actually try to achieve them, but it's also quite liberating as well. I'm a government employee (great health benefits, SIX weeks of leave every year that I MUST use, terrific sick leave, job security, etc.), but I want more from my life.

So I'm planning to leave my safe and secure job in April to jump into the entrepreneurial world and make my passion my full-time job.

Can I do it? Definitely. Does it scare the bejeebers out of me to leave my secure job? Absolutely. But if I don't do it, I'll be miserable, always wondering if I could have made it a go.

So yes it's scary, but it's also liberating now that I've made the decision to do it. (And am smack in the middle of planning and scheduling for the transition.)

On that last day at "the real job," I'll take a deep breath, close my eyes and jump. And enjoy the thrill of the freefall!! :)

Laurie Luck
Smart Dog University

Lynne Lee Online Coach

I recommend setting realistic goals but we all need to be reaching for something more.
I had a health scare a few months ago. It caused me to think about what sort of legacy I would leave if I died.
Since then I've taken my dreams off the shelf and I'm breathing life into them every day.
I'm amazed at what I've accomplished in the last 6 months.
My recommendation - go for it!
Just get started.

Lynne Lee

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