Goal Setting And How To Do It
I have reached a goal. I have finished the first draft of my book. Apart from telling everyone I can think of about the book, in order to cement the ‘doing’ of it into my psyche, I am working on it as often as I can.
The chapter bit was OK, once I figured out what to write, but right now I am doing my usual trick of finding other things to do (anything at all) to avoid beginning the next stage which is re-reading what I have written and getting it ready for my beta readers to get stuck into.
It comes down, as I’ve said before, to knowing what to do next and forgetting the ‘it has to be perfect’ mantra. It’s like coming up to a brick wall of thoughts. You can’t get through and you just bounce around like in a kids jumping castle.
Why am I telling you this? And what does it have to do with the goals thing I started talking about? A lot really.
‘Cause, you see, the book is NOT the goal. It is only a bi-product of achieving the real goal.
Get It Done
It doesn’t matter what happens with the book as long as it is finally published. If one follows the process and the steps on a roadmap or checklist (and there are many of these that Dr Google can serve up to you), the end result of a published book is a foregone conclusion. It is not rocket science. It’s not even hard. What is hard is following all the steps. A bit like the 12 step program for those of us unfortunate to have an alcohol problem. All the steps need to be covered. Not always in any prescribed order, and some we can revisit at any time to enhance the end result.
Why This Particular Goal
The idea in goal setting is to take an overview of why you might want to say, write a book, learn a new skill or language, change a habit, get a new job – anything really.
Then devise, or have someone else devise, a specialised 12 step program just for you, just for this particular task or goal. Promise your self and the world at large, if this is appropriate, that you WILL follow this plan, and you will achieve this goal. This result. This outcome.
The Goal Is Not The Goal
Then realize that the goal is NOT the goal. The real goal is to change yourself. To become a different person, someone who deserves this new ‘thing’ that is what you think of as the goal. To become the kind of person who can achieve this consequence from the 12 action steps, for example.
In my case, I need to be the kind of person who CAN write and publish a book. Even if the book is rubbish. Doesn’t matter as it was only a vehicle. It was not the end game and never was.
Many Fall By The Wayside
To digress for a moment – this is where many of us fall by the wayside because we don’t believe we DESERVE the end result for which we are aiming and therefore we do not make it.
But if you follow the steps you will write that book. And at the end of this process, you will have become someone who does deserve it (whatever it might be for you).
Remove Yourself From The Outcome
Now you also have to remove your self from the result. Separate your mind and body from the OUTCOME. Then and only then will you be able to accept that the book or your grasp of Arabic or Chinese does not have to be perfect. It just has to be DONE.
Only then will you be able to move beyond the person you were when you started down this path, and allow yourself to meet the person who you have become. Gidday!
Become The Kind Of Person Who Can
What I mean here is your goal will be to become the kind of person who can follow 12 steps and get to the end. To a book; or a new whatever as we said above. Your goal is personal development, the outcome is a serendipitous result of following the prescribed steps in the program. And getting to the end of it.
You see if you become that person, a second book, skill, language etc becomes easy. You can do it almost on auto-pilot.
If someone had a goal to become a millionaire and suddenly won the money in a lottery, you know from the newspapers, that few of them keep this money in the long-run. They are NOT millionaires, so that, while the having of that amount of money was a goal for them it was, we now understand, an outcome, a result without the personal development behind it. So they lost it. I know people that this has happened to. Sad but a fact of life.
The Goal Is Not The Goal
Let’s say it again. The goal is NOT the goal. The real goal is to change yourself.