It is a truism in personal development that goals drive activity. However, while all worthwhile goals are valuable and cause action, not all goals drive immediate action. For example, a retirement income goal will drive action, but for most people that action is not right now. A burst goal is a goal which drives immediate action or, as Tony Robbins calls it, massive action.
Burst goals are goals you are going to set for a short period of activity; they are the results of activity "bursts." Since they are of limited time duration, you do not have to worry about setting a deadline (the T of the SMART goal properties). Some of the characteristics of burst goals apply to all goals, some are unique to burst goals.
* Positive tone - The subconscious does not understand negatives, so you want to phrase all goals as something positive. For example, not "I will cut my debt in half" but "I will save $1000."
* Specific - The more specific you are, the better the universe can respond. For example, not "I will get in better shape" but "I will lose 50 lbs."
* Able to Visualize - You must be able to visualize yourself reaching the goal. Do not use this quality to limit your goals but to drive your visualization exercises.
Burst Goal Properties
* Your Actions - Base a burst goal on what actions you can do, not on the results you desire to achieve. For example, not "I will get 10 new clients" but "I will make 50 phone calls"
* Use the word "will" - Most of the time, you want to avoid the use of "will" in a goal since that implies the goal is always in the future and never actually achieved. However, in this case you should go ahead and use the word because of the built-in deadline. This is a promise to yourself which will (see??) be redeemed by the deadline.
* Crescendo not Jump - When determining how big to make the goal, start at your current level of activity and start building; do not say you will make a massive change at the beginning. For example, say you were saving $50 per week. Start there, and build to $100 per week by the end of the time period, with some growth each week.
* Focus - Do not make a lot of burst goals at once. Better to make 1 goal you can focus on immediately for a short period of time than 5 goals which causes too much commitment.
* Short, short, short - The maximum time frame should be 90 days. Anybody can believe they can do something for a short period of time; too long and you put off action, particularly if you are not convinced you can do the action for an extended period of time.
* Plan for Stopping - In the long run, you want to increase your activity, of course. However, recognize that this is a burst of activity, and when it is done you will take a break. Just like a runner, plan a break or a reward when you reach the end of the race.
Burst goals can lead to new habits and new levels of productivity, but only if set and keep the deadlines. Use them to build momentum, and you can reach levels you have only dreamed about before you started.