You must have long-range goals
to keep you from being frustrated
by short-range failures.
~ Charles C. Noble
I’m creating a Life Plan between now and the end of the year. You should totally do one too! I already asked you a couple times, and you keep not answering me. Do my armpits stink or something? I just ordered this new deodorant by Burt’s Bees which smells kind of lemon/mint/sage –ish. Kind of a funny smell, I know. But I’m trying to avoid getting breast cancer by repeatedly rubbing parabens on my lymph nodes, and the alternative is to stink. Hence my inquiry. So now that we have cleared up the issue over whether or not I stink, I think it’s fair that you answer my fucking question: Why aren’t you doing a Life Plan with me?
Map out your future,
but do it in pencil.
~ Jon Bon Jovi
LIFE PLAN STEPS:
Life Plan Week 1: Wants
Life Plan Week 2: Needs
Life Plan Week 3: Preparation
Life Plan (A continuation of week 3): Life Purpose
Life Plan Week 4: Goals
Life Plan Week 5: Plans
Life Plan Week 6: Accountability
LIFE PLAN RECAP: WANTS / HOPES / DREAMS / NEEDS / PREPARATION
— complete & publish my novel
— lose weight
— clean & organize my house
— increase income
— ride an elephant
Format: narrative outline.
Milestones: in the last six years I obtained my college degree, got happily married, bought a house, started a blog, and outlined my novel.
Strengths: writing and storytelling.
Weaknesses: I am impatient, short-tempered, lazy, and cynical.
Passions: reading, writing, sleeping, and family.
Causes: I am moved by greed and abuse.
Personal Mission Statement: I will continue to do everything in my power, limited though it may be, to talk about greedy, malicious assholes, and find a way to bring them down, at the very least via crowd-shaming.
“Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.”
~ Tony Robbins
LIFE PLAN QUESTION:
What is the difference between *DREAMS* and *GOALS* and *TARGETS* and *PLANS*?
I think most of us use the terms “goal” and “plan” interchangeably, even though we know they aren’t exactly the same thing. Kind of like war versus battle. One is an overlying, larger picture kind of thing. The other, though still extremely important, is merely a smaller piece of the puzzle.
Even bigger than the big picture — universe size, maybe — is a desire or dream. So for instance, I might say I want to “be thin” or “lose weight”. But without anything more definitive, it’s just a hazy, half-hearted idea. There is no substance to it.
The goal would be more along the lines of asking yourself, “How thin?” or “How much weight?” Staying with the same example, I might respond, “size 12” or “50 pounds”. Both of which, sadly, are true. Get off me.
Vision without action is a daydream.
Action without vision is a nightmare.
~ Japanese Proverb
The plan is how you intend to get there, what steps you will take, when you start and stop, and all the other bits and pieces involved in ensuring you reach your Targets along the way — milestones achieved on the road to success. Following are more examples. They aren’t necessarily mine. I just chose them off the top of my head as typical New Year Resolutions.
EXAMPLE Dream (wistful idea /// somewhat vague):
This year I want to read more books and save money.
EXAMPLE Goal (specific idea):
This year I will read 12 books and put $1000 into savings.
BREAKING DOWN MY DREAMS INTO GOALS TO CREATE A LIFE PLAN
“A goal is a dream with a deadline.”
~ Napoleon Hill
Use your list of wants and needs to outline three to five concrete life goals. All goals should be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, & Time-bound — except for one which should be a “stretch” goal that provides a real challenge.
MY DREAMS (wistful, somewhat vague ideas):
I want to complete & publish my novel.
I want to lose weight.
I want to increase our income.
I want a clean & organized house.
I want to ride an elephant.
MY GOALS (specific ideas) FOR 2013:
This year I will:
— outline, complete, and begin edits on my 90K-word novel.
— lose 50 pounds.
— increase our income by at least $400 per month.
— spend two months in each of six rooms (Laundry room, Kitchen, Office, Living room, Bathroom, Master bedroom) minimalizing, organizing, cleaning, and decorating.
— ride an elephant (this would be my “stretch” goal… or in my parlance, this is my “pony”).
If you’re bored with life
– you don’t get up every morning with a burning desire to do things –
you don’t have enough goals.
~ Lou Holtz
Next week we’ll look at how to break down these crazy goals of mine into targeted plans. Meanwhile, do you have any vague dreams you intend to turn into achievable goals this year? Do tell!