What’s the Situation?
What did you want to be when you were in kindergarten? Do you remember? I do. I wanted to be a Police Officer. We’d had a couple of Officers come to our school and do a presentation and I wanted to be just like them. That life dream didn’t stick, though. A couple years later I was introduced to Thomas Alva Edison and suddenly wanted to be an Inventor.
I must have been a fickle child to change my entire set of life goals so drastically in just a couple short years, right? Of course not. Kids change their minds. They learn and explore and try new things. This is expected. This is encouraged.
At some point, though, that changes. At some point, it’s no longer acceptable to change your goals. To want to do something different. At some point we’re supposed to have everything figured out. That’s what adults do, right?
But if we don’t make room for change, how can we make room for growth? The reason the eight year-old me wanted to be something different than the five year-old me is because he’d learned more. He’d experienced more of life and, as a result, wanted something different.
That willingness to learn and experience and change your mind, I believe, is just as important as making up your mind in the first place. So, to embrace this willingness to change, I recently started practicing goal-making as a part of my weekly Definement.
What’s the Solution?
Each week, I challenge myself to go through a process I call “Definement” (yup, still not a word; still don’t care). I start with a blank sheet of paper and I write out my personal Vision, Values, and Goals. I then create a set of directives for myself that inform my key Apple Tasks for the week.
For the Goals section, I ask myself the following question “What are the things that I specifically want to accomplish?” I then create a list of those items.
I do this each week. And you know what, my long term goals haven’t changed much. I haven’t decided to quit my job or otherwise drastically change my way of life. Just because I can change my goals doesn’t mean I will. Rather, I now have a better understanding of why it’s important for me not to quit my job. Why doing what I’m doing today helps me move forward tomorrow.
But if my goals haven’t changed much at all, what’s the point in doing this weekly? I find two very specific benefits in this process:
- It makes it easier to get started in the first place – If I know I’m going to do it again next week, I’m not so worried about getting everything exactly right today. And while my major goals haven’t changed much, having to revisit them each week as helped me to clarify them. Which brings me to the second point.
- It brings a renewed focus to my goals and goal-making – Goals are only valuable if you make them a part of your life. And what easier way to do that then through rewriting them each week. It makes them top of mind and keeps them top of mind.
What’s the Impact?
The thing I love about my Definement is that it’s simple process with a powerful impact on a variety of Energy Inputs. Last week, I talked about the impact on Values and Self-Valuation. This week, I get to add Goals to that list!
- Goals – The practice of defining tangible goals sets a framework for achieving them. This is a boost to Spiritual Energy.
- Values – The primary benefit of Definement is an increase to Values. By consistently bringing my focus to what’s important, I can commit myself to acting accordingly. This is an increase to Spiritual Energy.
- Self-Valuation – I have found that taking a moment to remind myself of the things that are important to me has the added benefit of increasing my own sense of self-worth. It makes that future version of me seem that much more tangible and achievable. This is an increase to Emotional Mana
All this, from being willing to ask myself again and again “what do I want to accomplish,” the grown-up version of “what do you want to be when you grow up.”
See you at the finish line!
-The Jack of Spades