Next time you're asked to set a goal why not consider other approaches - for example, an Appreciative Inquiry - to explore the possibilities first. Then, once you've settled on a goal, you can use the SMART acronym to check how well you can articulate your next action.
The first challenge of real life is: find some goals. And the second: figure out some boundaries.
Instead of thinking of mission statements as just a list of ideals, Covey suggests thinking of them like a constitution for a government. Back in my law school days when I wrote legal memos for attorneys, I’d have to lay out the law that governed the case I was writing about. Every time I did so, I had to make, at least in passing, a reference to the U.S. Constitution because the Constitution is the source of all law in the United States. Even if it was a state issue, I referenced the U.S. Constitution (Article 10, baby). With every legal decision, I turned to the Constitution first.
Brett and Kate McKay discuss Covey’s habit of ‘Starting with the end in mind’ and what this might mean for the individual.
They map out three steps to creating your own mission statements:
- Step 1: Block off uninterrupted time
- Step 2: Prioritize your roles in life
- Step 3: Define the purpose of each role
The authors explain that this is about process as much as it is about product. For me it is about intent.
This is a useful resource alongside Adrian Camm’s steps to developing a learning vision.
The last step doesn’t matter as much as you think. It is not about the summit.
This is an interesting reflection on climbing Mt Everest. The idea that the summit does not matter as much as we think reminds of a point that Jeff Haden made on the Curious Minds podcast. He explained that planning for a holiday can actually be more beneficial that going on the holiday. This relates to the arbitrary nature of goals. What matters is that we care.
Recently I shared a professional opportunity with a friend and their response; “You’ve got this!” Three simple words that meant so much. Someone believes that I have the ability and skills to achieve this, and that I am qualified and experienced to be successful. I said it out loud, ‘You’ve got this!’ Then the self talk came into play. You know what?....I have. "I’ve got this!"
So maybe I’ll focus, instead, on Go Up goals and Give Up goals. Like Seth says in his post, people are generally happy to help you with your give up goals. They’ll remind you to drink less, exercise more, and spend less money. My 2018 give up goals might include be less lazy on the exercise front and eat fewer carbs for breakfast. I’ll try to give up working on a device when my kids are present. I’ll fail, but I’ll try. I’ll give up taking jobs that don’t compensate my worth.
I have begun to pare back my obligations. I have turned my email and social media notifications off and buried Facebook in the back of my phone. I’ve withdrawn from my Book Club. I’m reconsidering how often to post on this blog and am thinking perhaps ‘when it takes my fancy’ would be ok, rather than keeping myself to a schedule. I am figuring out how to protect my most productive time for my most important projects and how I might schedule in regular silence and stillness.
Deborah Netolicky reflects on her priorities as a part of her one word this year. She wonders about her choices. This has me reflecting on my own balances.
I’d been struggling myself a bit with this re-read and Frankl’s emphasis on the future, how one must keep hope, keep his eye on the horizon. (Though I was particularly taken with his emphasis on imagination: how prisoners hold on by conjuring images of their loved ones, how a patient can sort out her decisions by pretending she’s lying on her death bed, looking back at her life.) I wondered how to reconcile Frank’s hopeful future-facing with my own feeling that life is more like Groundhog Day, and one should operate without hope and without despair.
A goal that isn’t too important makes you live in the moment, and still gives you a driving force. This driving force is a way to get around the fact that we will all die and there is no real point to life.
But with the ASG there is a point. It is not such an important point that you postpone joy to achieve it. It is just a decoy point that keeps you bobbing along, allowing you to find ecstacy in the small things, the unexpected, and the everyday.
What happens when you reach the stupid goal? Then what? You just find a new ASG.
Tamara Shopsin Arbitrary Stupid Goal
via Austin Kleon
Interesting newsletter as always Ian. I was particularly taken by the discussion of reviewed.
In regards to your point about ‘yearly’ reviews, I added to my yearly review of newsletter posts to also include a personal reflection.
I still think that I need to develop this and that is why I chose ‘intent‘ as my one word this year (another alternative to new year resolutions)
I will have to look through the various links for more tips and get back to your discussion of routine and maintaining a positive mindset. The