TITLE: Begin at the Beginning
DATE: 1/05/2006 06:54:00 PM
The funny thing about setting goals is that setting them isn't particularly the hard part. What makes goal setting truly difficult is taking the first step after your big aha moment.
So, how can you set a goal and then take the plunge to realize it?
Well, after working with enough capable people who talked themselves right out of accomplishing what they were once so excited to achieve... I have patched together an exercise that at least attempts to quiet some of those negative voices in your head, if not help move your along your path.
Our example here is my brother, Robert, who took a weaving class several months ago and discovered he loves weaving, is skilled at it, and would like to find a way to weave for at least a part-time income.
First, I sat down with Robert and asked him what his goals are. Generally we all know this about ourselves. Most of us know we have a goal to have a local gallery exhibit, sell our work to a certain type of collector, or even make a certain amount of money. Robert's goals were simple, after all, he's just beginning. For now, he would like to (1) become better at weaving, (2) make good work he is proud of, and (3) share his work with others, (4) sell some of his better work.
He wrote each of these down on slips of paper and I attached them to the living room wall. (YES! That means the art originally hanging there was taken down. Hello? This is a bigger priority!)
Next, we selected one of the goals and wrote separate slips of paper for every step related to accomplishing that goal. An example: To become better at weaving he needs to (A) take more classes, (B) practice, and (C) attend a weaving conference. We did this for each of his goals. In this case, he had four.
After this we started back where we began and reviewed each step we had just pasted on the wall. He now placed slips just underneath these with details associated with these steps. Example: In order to take more classes he has to (a) sign up for weavers guild newsletters that list the classes, (b) save money to pay for the class he chooses, and (c) set aside time with his 2 jobs to attend the class.
This is what the wall looked like after accomplishing this and brainstorming the path towards achieving just 1 of his 4 goals:
During this process Robert learned that he knew more than he thought he knew. He had most of the answers in his head about where to begin and how to start down the path. He had just been so fearful of beginning that he hadn't allowed himself to think past that fear.
With his milestones on the wall in front of him every day (milestones he created and brainstormed), it made them REAL and achievable.
Even on days when he doesn't work towards one of the goals, he can read everything on the wall, re-set his priorities in his mind, and plot where to dive in the next day.
So, why not try this with the brass ring you've been dying to reach up and grab? If you need a coach, a cheerleader, or just someone to help you with the process... you know where to find me.