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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 September 20, 2018

      8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

      8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

      You go to the gym to train your muscles. You run outside or go for hikes to train your endurance. Or, maybe you do neither of those, but still wish you exercised more.

      Well, here is how to train one of the most important parts of your body: your brain.

      When you train your brain, you will:

      • Avoid embarrassing situations. You remember his face, but what was his name?
      • Be a faster learner in all sorts of different skills. No problem for you to pick up a new language or new management skill.
      • Avoid diseases that hit as you get older. Alzheimer’s will not be affecting you.

      So how to train your brain and improve your cognitive skills?

      1. Work your memory

      Twyla Tharp, a NYC-based renowned choreographer has come up with the following memory workout:

      When she watches one of her performances, she tries to remember the first twelve to fourteen corrections she wants to discuss with her cast without writing them down.

      If you think this is anything less than a feat, then think again. In her book The Creative Habit she says that most people cannot remember more than three.

      The practice of both remembering events or things and then discussing them with others has actually been supported by brain fitness studies.

      Memory activities that engage all levels of brain operation—receiving, remembering and thinking—help to improve the function of the brain.

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      Now, you may not have dancers to correct, but you may be required to give feedback on a presentation, or your friends may ask you what interesting things you saw at the museum. These are great opportunities to practically train your brain by flexing your memory muscles.

      What is the simplest way to help yourself remember what you see? Repetition.

      For example, say you just met someone new:

      “Hi, my name is George”

      Don’t just respond with, “Nice to meet you”. Instead, say, “Nice to meet you George.”

      Got it? Good.

      2. Do something different repeatedly

      By actually doing something new over and over again, your brain wires new pathways that help you do this new thing better and faster.

      Think back to when you were three years old. You surely were strong enough to hold a knife and a fork just fine. Yet, when you were eating all by yourself, you were creating a mess.

      It was not a matter of strength, you see. It was a matter of cultivating more and better neural pathways that would help you eat by yourself just like an adult does.

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      And guess what? With enough repetition you made that happen!

      But how does this apply to your life right now?

      Say you are a procrastinator. The more you don’t procrastinate, the more you teach your brain not to wait for the last minute to make things happen.

      Now, you might be thinking “Duh, if only not procrastinating could be that easy!”

      Well, it can be. By doing something really small, that you wouldn’t normally do, but is in the direction of getting that task done, you will start creating those new precious neural pathways.

      So if you have been postponing organizing your desk, just take one paper and put in its right place. Or, you can go even smaller. Look at one piece of paper and decide where to put it: Trash? Right cabinet? Another room? Give it to someone?

      You don’t actually need to clean up that paper; you only need to decide what you need to do with it.

      That’s how small you can start. And yet, those neural pathways are still being built. Gradually, you will transform yourself from a procrastinator to an in-the-moment action taker.

      3. Learn something new

      It might sound obvious, but the more you use your brain, the better its going to perform for you.

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      For example, learning a new instrument improves your skill of translating something you see (sheet music) to something you actually do (playing the instrument).

      Learning a new language exposes your brain to a different way of thinking, a different way of expressing yourself.

      You can even literally take it a step further, and learn how to dance. Studies indicate that learning to dance helps seniors avoid Alzheimer’s. Not bad, huh?

      4. Follow a brain training program

      The Internet world can help you improve your brain function while lazily sitting on your couch. A clinically proven program like BrainHQ can help you improve your memory, or think faster, by just following their brain training exercises.

      5. Work your body

      You knew this one was coming didn’t you? Yes indeed, exercise does not just work your body; it also improves the fitness of your brain.

      Even briefly exercising for 20 minutes facilitates information processing and memory functions. But it’s not just that–exercise actually helps your brain create those new neural connections faster. You will learn faster, your alertness level will increase, and you get all that by moving your body.

      Now, if you are not already a regular exerciser, and already feel guilty that you are not helping your brain by exercising more, try a brain training exercise program like Exercise Bliss.

      Remember, just like we discussed in #2, by training your brain to do something new repeatedly, you are actually changing yourself permanently.

      6. Spend time with your loved ones

      If you want optimal cognitive abilities, then you’ve got to have meaningful relationships in your life.  Talking with others and engaging with your loved ones helps you think more clearly, and it can also lift your mood.

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      If you are an extrovert, this holds even more weight for you. At a class at Stanford University, I learned that extroverts actually use talking to other people as a way to understand and process their own thoughts.

      I remember that the teacher told us that after a personality test said she was an extrovert, she was surprised. She had always thought of herself as an introvert. But then, she realized how much talking to others helped her frame her own thoughts, so she accepted her new-found status as an extrovert.

      7. Avoid crossword puzzles

      Many of us, when we think of brain fitness, think of crossword puzzles. And it’s true–crossword puzzles do improve our fluency, yet studies show they are not enough by themselves.

      Are they fun? Yes. Do they sharpen your brain? Not really.

      Of course, if you are doing this for fun, then by all means go ahead. If you are doing it for brain fitness, then you might want to choose another activity

      8. Eat right – and make sure dark chocolate is included

      Foods like fish, fruits, and vegetables help your brain perform optimally. Yet, you might not know that dark chocolate gives your brain a good boost as well.

      When you eat chocolate, your brain produces dopamine. And dopamine helps you learn faster and remember better. Not to mention, chocolate contains flavonols, antioxidants, which also improve your brain functions.

      So next time you have something difficult to do, make sure you grab a bite or two of dark chocolate!

      The bottom line

      Now that you know how to train your brain, it’s actually time to start doing.

      Don’t just consume this content and then go on with your life as if nothing has changed. Put this knowledge into action and become smarter than ever!

      Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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