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Stretch, or goal setting for short.

Friend asked me about goal setting. You might like my practical approach. Your wildest dreams are waiting.

So I’ve got some tough news.

I didn’t always used to have friends. When I was young I moved a lot and so I never really made very good friends.

Over the years however, as I’ve become more consistent with how I live my life and where I live my life, I’ve made some pretty incredible friends.

The thing I love about friends is that they’ll ask you for stuff. And I love it. I love being able to show up, do my best, and hopefully knock their socks off.

With that said a friend of mine asked me a question this morning by text:

Possible blog post topic… Just a thought. I would be interested in reading your take on commitment to change. In your goal setting is it a mental thing, do you write them down, do you use imagery? How often do you look at your goals and reevaluate? Maybe you already have written something to this note, and I missed it. Anyhow, have a fantastic day!

Mr. Smith

I mean come on. Such a nice thing to ask, and in such a nice way too!

This is essentially my goal setting method

Goal Setting

When I was younger, when I didn’t really have any friends, all there was to do was read books. So goals weren’t much of a thing.

But just like friends, as I grew older, became more consistent, and needed to create results in my life, goals became a bit more important.

Write it down

The way I see it, as a writer, when I want to do something or see something done or see a change in the world, I first have to write that down. Seems silly, but this is the first step to objectifying abstraction, or making the imaginary a reality.

Now you can’t just write it down and be done with it. You need to look at your goal every single day. You goal, or goals, you need to look at them every day. You need to see that your goals are as persistent as your experience with reality, even if your goals are not consistent with reality.

Ask why

The next part is really fun and super painful, sometimes. The next part is asking why. As in, why do I want this change? Or why is my life such that I need this goal?

A lot of times we pursue goals, we chase after changes, and want to make things happen that we actually don’t really want to have happen. And so you look back and you say to yourself, “Gosh, why did I make that goal?”

I found that if a goal that you are pursuing does not match your values, is not aligned with your priorities, and is not attached to a why, your goal is only a wish. Or worse, it’s a fantasy.

A wish is when we want something that we know we could have if we would just do what we need to make it real.

A fantasy is something we tell ourselves we can’t have and that we shouldn’t do anything to make it real.

Practical Advice

Personally, a really effective way of approaching goals in this way, is to write the goal that you have in mind at the top of the page of a lined piece of paper. Then write why you value the goal, how it’s aligned with your priorities, and the why behind it all.

Then every morning look at that piece of paper, and every morning write down the next thing you have to do to get closer to that goal. And every evening when you look at your goals write down what you did. That way you know what to do, and you can see what you did or didn’t do.

Also, because goal accomplishment happens in time, try setting time aside today for getting closer to your goal: 10 minutes, 20 minutes, an hour. That means that in your calendar there is time set aside for getting closer to reaching your goal.

Now, the amount of time you actually invest in pursuit of accomplishing your goal is not important. If your goal is properly aligned with your values, priorities, and carries a why, it doesn’t matter how much time it takes. Trust me, you will make your ideas a reality.

But, having made a mental commitment, a physical commitment, a time commitment towards your goal is what will differentiate to you those instances where you need to tell people “No, I am pursuing my goal right now.” If a two year old can say no, and get away with it, you can too.

Some extra tips

Whenever you’re working towards your goal, let yourself be very cognizant of the things that you’re saying to yourself, the images in your head, the people you’re relating with, and ultimately how it makes you feel.

As we pursue goals, there are ripple effects, and sometimes there are waves. And no matter how supportive people say they are, few will understand what you are going through. So it helps to log/journal about pursuing your goals and how it is changing the world around you.

Alternatively, you can take pictures of what it looks like while you pursue your goals and share it with others. Doing this makes what you do real to them, and showing progress makes it more of a reality for the community around you.

Warning:

Pursuing goals rigorously will make you wildly unpopular among those who have a say so in how you use your time.

The more you strengthen your resolve towards accomplishing your goals, the more you will find friends, family, and co-workers upset that you are making waves

Send off

I know that not everyone will agree with how I see goals, or how to accomplish them.

But I do know that if anyone puts even one thing into practice here, and it brings them into alignment with accomplishing their goals, I’m happy.

With that said, how do you goal set? What do you do to make your dreams a reality? How has your goal setting been lacking, or where could you improve? What goals have you accomplished, and where have you failed?

Comment below!

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