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7 Step Framework to Craft Holistically Ambitious Goals for 2014

7 Step Framework to Craft Holistically Ambitious Goals for 2014

This post will teach you how to create goals for this upcoming year that won’t leave you empty when you achieve them.

How to set goals

    This actually happens a lot because “goal lists” are rarely accountable to all areas of our lives that are important to us.

    If you have a bunch of goals that are solely focused on one area of your life (cough work), you’ll probably end up feeling unhappy even if you crush them.

    Below is a methodology you can use to set goals for 2014 that are holistically ambitious. It relies heavily on a 400 year old Buddhist tool called the Bhavacakra or “Wheel of Life.”

    You can use this framework precisely as outlined like I did last year or simply as a guidepost. Remember these are your goals so don’t be afraid to iterate on the process!

    Okay, moving on…

    The methodology is broken into 2 parts: How to Set Goals and Goal Execution.

    How to Set Goals

    1. Identify the areas of your life that are most important to you.

    If you don’t know where to begin, you use any or all of the sections from the “Wheel of Life” personal development tool pictured below.

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    • Health
    • Friends and Family
    • Significant Other
    • Personal Growth and Learning
    • Fun Leisure and Recreation
    • Physical Enviroment (i.e. home)
    • Career
    • Money

    wheel of life

      2. Create high-level aspirations by answering the following questions for your life.

      I want to develop more….

      I want to become more….

      I want to learn or get better at

      I’d like to spend more time…

      Here are some examples of how I might answer these questions:

      I want to develop more financial freedom.

      I want to become more selfless.

      I want to learn salsa dancing.

      I’d like to spend more time with my family.

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      3. Take each aspiration and group them into the corresponding areas of your life that you’ve defined as important.

      Developing more financial freedom -> Money

      Becoming more selfless -> Personal Growth (or maybe family and friends)

      Learn salsa dancing -> Fun and Recreation

      Spending more time with your family -> Family and Friends

      4. Look at all of the areas of your life that you’ve defined as important and answer these questions:

      • Are all of the high level things you want to accomplish there? If not add some and don’t be afraid to get specific

      • Is there an in-balance between my goals and the areas of my life that are important to me? If so, are you okay with that? Remember the goal is to have holistic ambitions

      5. With each aspiration, try to crystallize it into a measurable, completeable goal

      Here are some examples.

      Health:

      • I want to lose weight -> I want to lose 10 lbs and maintain that weight.

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      Money:

      • I want more financial freedom – > I want to put away $500 more from my paycheck every month into savings.

      Goal Execution

      6. Determine how you’re going to measure or verify progress on your goals (if applicable)

      Goal: I want to lose weight -> I want to lose 10 lbs and maintain that weight.

      Measurement System: On the 1st and 15th of every month I will record my weight to have a clear picture of where I’m at .

      7. Schedule a regular goal review and plan implementation

      Remember creating this list is just the first step! Implementation is what really matters and regularly charting/planning progress is the easiest way to get there.

      Last year, on the first and 3rd Sunday of every month I reviewed my goals, updated my progress and planned how I was going to accomplish the remaining ones. I also identified goals that were no longer relevant and added new ones. You can view the public version of this here.

      Important: Your goals are not meant to be concrete! They are simply guideposts that should only be on this list if they are something you continue to want for you life.

      Don’t be afraid to gracefully bow out of an ambition if it is no longer relevant or desireable.

      Optional But Important

      Find a way to keep yourself accountable to completing these goals.

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      This can be as simple as emailing or talking to an accountability partner after you’ve done your regular review or as extreme as posting your progress publicly like I did.

      You want to strike the balance between what you’re comfortable with and what will motivate you.

      If you’re really struggling with motivation, tie failure to complete a goal to losing something that is important to you. Giving money to a friend is a simple example of this. You can also give lambo’s to your favorite bloggers ; )

      I made a pretty pdf of this framework that you can share with friends and will be emailing my personal goals for 2014 to everyone who downloads it here.

      If you’re still feeling a little lost, you can also check out when I first defined my goals using this framework in 2012 here.

      How have you set goals for yourself in the past? Did you do anything to keep yourself accountable that worked really well?

      How to Set Goals for 2014 | life-longlearner

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      Last Updated on July 23, 2019

      5 Steps To Move Out Of Stagnancy In Life

      5 Steps To Move Out Of Stagnancy In Life

      In the journey of growth, there are times when we grow and excel. We are endlessly driven and hyped up, motivated to get our goals.

      Then there are times when we stagnate. We feel uninspired and unmotivated. We keep procrastinating on our plans. More often than not, we get out of a rut, only to get back into another one.

      How do you know if you are stagnating? Here are some tell-tale signs:

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      • If you have been experiencing chronic procrastination on your goals
      • If you don’t ever feel like doing anything
      • If you keep turning to sleep, eating, games, mindless activities and entertainment for comfort
      • If you know you should be doing something, but yet you keep avoiding it
      • If you have not achieved anything new or significant now relative to 1 month, 2 months or 3 months ago
      • If you have a deep sense of feeling that you are living under your potential

      When we face stagnation in life, it’s a sign of deeper issues. Stagnation, just like procrastination, is a symptom of a problem. It’s easy to beat ourselves over it, but this approach is not going to help. Here, I will share 5 steps to help you move out of this stagnation. They won’t magically transform your life in 1 night (such changes are never permanent because the foundations are not built), but they will help you get the momentum going and help you get back on track.

      1. Realize You’re Not Alone

      Everyone stagnates at some point or another. You are not alone in this and more importantly, it’s normal. In fact, it’s amazing how many of my clients actually face the same predicament, even though all of them come from different walks of life, are of different ages, and have never crossed paths. Realizing you are not alone in this will make it much easier to deal with this period. By trying to “fight it”, you’re only fighting yourself. Accept this situation, acknowledge it, and tell yourself it’s okay. That way, you can then focus on the constructive steps that will really help you.

      2. Find What Inspires You

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      Stagnation comes because there isn’t anything that excites you enough to take action. If you don’t have a habit of setting goals, and instead just leave yourself to daily mundanes, it’s not surprising you are experiencing stagnation. What do you want to do if there are no limitations? If you can have whatever you want, what will it be? The answers to these questions will provide the fuel that will drive you forward.

      On the other hand, even if you are an experienced goal setter, there are times when the goals you set in the past lose their appeal now. It’s normal and it happens to me too. Sometimes we lose touch with our goals, since we are in a different emotional state compared to when we first set them. Sometimes our priorities change and we no longer want to work on those goals anymore. However, we don’t consciously realize this, and what happens is we procrastinate on our goals until it compounds into a serious problem. If that’s the case for you, it’s time to relook into your goals. There’s no point in pursuing goals that no longer inspire you. Trash away your old goals (or just put them aside) and ask yourself what you really want now. Then go for them.

      3. Give Yourself a Break

      When’s the last time you took a real break for yourself? 3 months? 6 months? 1 year? Never? Perhaps it’s time to take a time-out. Prolonged working can cause someone to become disillusioned as they lose sight of who they are and what they want.

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      Go take some extended leave from work. A few days at bare minimum; a few weeks or months will be great. Some of my ex-colleagues have quit their jobs and took months out to do some self-reflection. Of course, some of us might not have that luxury, so we can stick to a few weeks of leave. Go on a trip elsewhere and get away from your work and your life. Use this chance to get a renewed perspective of life. Think about your life purpose, what you want and what you want to create for your life in the future. These are big questions that require deep thinking over them. It’s not about finding the answers at one go, but about taking the first step to finding the answers.

      4. Shake up Your Routines

      Being in the same environment, doing the same things over and over again and meeting the same people can make us stagnant. This is especially if the people you spend the most time with are stagnant themselves.

      Change things around. Start with simple things, like taking a different route to work and eating something different for breakfast. Have your lunch with different colleagues, colleagues you never talked much with. Work in a different cubicle if your work has free and easy seating. Do something different than your usual for weekday evenings and weekends. Cultivate different habits, like exercising every day, listening to a new series of podcasts every morning to work, reading a book, etc (here’s 6 Proven Ways To Make New Habits Stick). The different contexts will give you different stimulus, which will trigger off different thoughts and actions in you.

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      When I’m in a state of stagnancy, I’ll get a sense of what’s making me stagnate. Sometimes it’s the environment I’m in, sometimes it’s the people I’ve been hanging out with, sometimes it’s my lifestyle. Most of the times it’s a combination of all these. Changing them up helps to stir myself out of the stagnant mode.

      5. Start with a Small Step

      Stagnation also comes from being frozen in fear. Maybe you do want this certain goal, but you aren’t taking action. Are you overwhelmed by the amount of work needed? Are you afraid you will make mistakes? Is the perfectionist in you taking over and paralyzing you?

      Let go of the belief that it has to be perfect. Such a belief is a bane, not a boon. It’s precisely from being open to mistakes and errors that you move forward. Break down what’s before you into very very small steps, then take those small steps, a little step at a time. I had a client who had been stagnating for a long period because he was afraid of failing. He didn’t want to make another move where he would make a mistake. However, not wanting to make a mistake has led him to do absolutely nothing for 2-3 years. On the other hand, by doing just something, you would already be making progress, whether it’s a mistake or not. Even if you make a supposed “mistake”,  you get feedback to do things differently in the next step. That’s something you would never have known if you never made a move.

      More to Help You Stay Motivated

      Here are some resources that will help you break out of your current phase:

      Featured photo credit: Anubhav Saxena via unsplash.com

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