Thursday, 1 December 2011

Setting and Achieving Goals: Part 1- Take Stock of The Situation

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You can't work towards a goal if you don't know what it is.

Sounds obvious, but it's often more difficult than not to really be clear about what we want. In keeping with my quest for absolute awesomeness, every once in a while I like to reassess; try to think how to go in a straight line upwards or, at least, in an upward spiral. Here's the deal.

Photo by Charlotte Joy Callender
I've always had a little trouble determining and sticking to goals, but The Wheel of Life
is one of the ways I really find effective for this. I first heard about it on Action Podcast. As I've mentioned before, I love the simple and powerful stuff coming out of there. This exercise fits right into that description. It's all about determining, broadly, where I am and where I'd like to be.

Photo by TheMarque
The chart essentially looks like a target. In each section you write an important area of your life, how you would rate it from 1 to 10, what a 10 would look like, and your actions to get there. I like to take an evening maybe once or twice a year and really work on the chart. It's a great start for turning dreams into goals and starting the journey.


For example, my first section is Health- it's at a 5. It's important because it is my well-being, independence, and ability. 

10 looks like I am a model for the fit life- I have energy, look great, handle stress well, have wonderful cardio-respiratory endurance, no (keyboardy?) back pain, feel great, and live a generally long and healthy life. (In this scenario, I'm also able to do any physical thing I want, I do adventure racing, surf, mountain-climb, and am a fitness instructor on the side). 

While I can't control the outcome, there are some things I can do that will bring me in the right direction. 
  • Begin an exercise program to improve cardio and posture.
  • Get 8 hours of sleep per night.
  • Meditate everyday.
  • Review and adapt nutrition for my vegetarian diet.
  • Incorporate more physical activity into my life.
I know there's more a lot more I could work on and I will, but I think it's important to take a bit at a time and move up from there. 

Photo by Fathzer

Using that model, I set up other goals for other areas of my life. These are a few that I plan to research and write about.
  • Become more decisive.
  • Incorporate more creativity into my life.
  • Veg out less/ do more active activities- Particular challenge- over the winter.
  • Learn how to handle difficult conversations.
  • Get involved in my community.
  • And, generally, learn more about myself.

Having these goals and actions in mind, I can really look at ways to work towards them- and then actually do it. Which brings me a little bit closer to absolute awesomeness. :-)

Do you have any ways you use to figure out where you want to be? Drop me a comment, I'd love to here it.

2 comments:

  1. I think long-term goal planning is very daunting to many, but it does help give you a sense of purpose in the short-term, and likely ease some of that stress that creeps up without explanation.

    As for your personal goals, I think travel will help you learn more about yourself, as you can be a brand-new "you" to everyone you meet along the way. Meeting new people is kind of like putting one ingredient into several difference recipes. You find out where it produces the best flavours, and where it stands in stark contrast. It's the same with living environments. I think everyone should find some way to travel once a year, just to take in new experiences and discover.

    As for creativity, I tend to think of that as a spontaneous thing. How do you plan for more creativity? Is it about setting aside time for an activity? Having a dart board with various creative activities on it, and just picking one for your weekend? It's a worthy goal, to be sure...but the how is definitely a question to ponder...

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  2. @Anonymous
    I like your ideas about the different recipes with one ingredient :P. While the limited traveling I've done has definitely opened up some new ways of thinking, I think meeting new people, reading new things, having new experiences in my own community is also pretty great (and sometimes a more practical way to go). Also, we can't forget taking the time to process what we're learning.

    LOL, no dartboards here. It's a goal and I'm figuring it out, but basically yep, setting aside time to be creative, both alone and with people. So choosing more creative activities for my free time and, in general, shaking up some bits of the routine. I don't think it has to be too complicated.

    Like what we're talking about above, I think variety in experiences will teach you something new and give you new things to reflect, incorporate or not and dish out. :)

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