Shards of Consciousness

How To Define And Implement Goals

Darren Rowse over on Problogger.net has challenged his readers to another group writing project, this time focusing on the goals that people have for their sites. I thought it would be a good opportunity to make explicit my goals for this site.

How are you going to get there if you don't know where you are going?

The Free Dictionary defines a goal as an objective, the reason you do something. In one way or another, everything you do has a goal. The goal may be something big or it may be something small. The goal may be constructive, or it may be self-defeating. You may be conscious of it or you may be pursuing it unconsciously. But you always have a goal.

In other articles I've discussed the need for you to have a mission in life in (see Your Mission In Life and Developing Your Goals). Pompous as it may sound, my main mission in life is to live consciously, freeing myself from self-imposed destructive limitations, while helping others.

Your major goals, if you don't want to engage in self-defeating behavior, need to further your mission in life. On my About page I tell you my main goal for this site is to express some of the things I have learned in my life in a way that you may find useful in your own life. I encapsulated my overall goal for this site in the following aphorism, which I spend a couple of minutes a day meditating on while visualizing it as being true:

For the good of all, with the free will of all, I provide a high quality, high traffic personal development website that people willingly support economically.

To further this end I have subsidiary goals for this site. These include

  • Build readership - Without readers I'm talking to myself. That's boring, to say the least
  • Make some money - I'm not a professional blogger, but financial rewards are one way of saying "Hey, you did a good job." Once people get here, they may check out the software I write and find that it is useful to them. They may even click on an ad
  • Tell my children things they won't necessarily listen to if I tell them face-to-face (anyone who has children will know what I mean)
  • Hone my writing skills
  • Become a published writer
  • Make articles available for other service coordinators to include in their newsletters
  • Meet new people, if only electronically

Even though this section of my site is new, it is showing signs of accomplishing most of the goals I have set for it.

As is the case with most things, the law of unintended consequences comes into play, also. To write my articles, I have to clarify my thinking and examine my own beliefs on the subjects. This has had the effect of furthering my own personal development efforts.

There is an old saying that if you want something done, ask a busy person. As a result of working on this site, I find I'm able to get more done in other parts of my life. The energy you have to draw on increases as you utilize it if you are doing something that is beneficial to you, and your ability to focus on a task until it is finished and then do something else improves with practice.

The process I have followed for this site can be used with any goal.

  1. Remember your mission
  2. Define a goal to implement that mission.
  3. Design a focus phrase that encapsulates the goal and visual it as true.
  4. Define the subsidiary goals for the main goal
  5. Perform the tasks leading to the goal.
  6. Enjoy the results.
  7. Repeat from step one, refining the process.

So what are your goals? Do they further your mission in life, or do they work at cross-purposes with it? Think about it. You'll be happier if you do.

Blogging Goals Redux

A complete list of all the contributers to this project is located here. Some of my favorite entries are:

3 Pingbacks to How To Define And Implement Goals

21 Responses to How To Define And Implement Goals

  • Nice golas. Best of luck with them.

    #10 | Comment by doll on June 7, 2006 5:21am
  • Rick,
    Your perspective on how you see your blog is very similar to mine. I see it as a chance in self development and education of people who may have an interest in the specific subjects that I have expertise in. If this free advise can be monetized at the same time at the very least the hosting will pay for itself. Everyone has to start off as the small fish!

  • doll: Thank you. I visited your site. Good luck with your work.

    Steve: Thanks for the comment and encouragement.

    #12 | Comment by Rick on June 7, 2006 11:01am
  • You said: "To write my articles, I have to clarify my thinking and examine my own beliefs on the subjects. This has had the effect of furthering my own personal development efforts."
    This is exactly it; expressing an idea or thought to an audience (even if it consists in a single person) is the result of a whole process which cannot be ended without going through full assimilation of said information, then position taking and formulation. I often find the assimilation bit most difficult, but it is also the most important part of the process, as once one has gone through it, one has learnt something and is able to move on.
    Blogging helps me getting more confident with the expression of my thoughts; and from a self development point of view, it is fascinating, as I cannot really get straight feedback, so I'd better make sure my thoughts are clear...

    #13 | Comment by kimson on June 7, 2006 1:14pm
  • I don't think it's pompous (that word never looks like it's spelled right) at all to say you are living consciously while helping others. It's challenging! But not pompous (and it still doesn't look like it's spelled right.) Great post! Bookmarking your site now. But i still don't understand RSS so it'll be a privately owned bookmark...

  • Thanks for the mention, Rick! Very admirable goal. In the end, that truely is what it's all about, isn't it? And I couldn't agree with your favorite entries more.

  • Hey Rick,

    Thanks for the kudos, it means a lot! I've actually visited your site quite a few times, so to be mentioned on it was very nice.

    You have a good process for achieving your goals, as it ensures you're always working towards your mission. Goals often fail because people try to achieve something they don't really want, or something they think they want but it's really down to social conditioning.

    All the best with your goals!

    Phil

  • Richard,

    I couldn't agree more with you on this.

    >> To write my articles, I have to clarify my thinking and examine my own beliefs on the subjects.

    #14 | Comment by Renee on June 10, 2006 3:17am
  • Kimson,

    It's like the old saying - You don't really know something until you teach it to someone else.

    #31 | Comment by Rick on June 10, 2006 3:45pm
  • Christine,

    Thank you! All words get a little funny if you look at them too close. They don't like to stay in one place.

    #30 | Comment by Rick on June 10, 2006 3:54pm
  • Wintermute,

    You're welcome. It's hard for most of us to come out and say, "Hey, I do it because I want to!"

    #29 | Comment by Rick on June 10, 2006 3:58pm
  • Phil,

    Thanks for coming. I do appreciate it. I do see knowing what you really want out of life as important in providing an overriding focus in deciding what you do. Without that, you work at cross-purposes with yourself. I really liked you point about putting it down on paper. That somehow makes the goal more real and tangible, just like committing yourself by telling other people about it as we did in these articles.

    #28 | Comment by Rick on June 10, 2006 4:08pm
  • Rick,
    First, thanks :)
    Second, I like how you didn't only post your goals but also developped a process. Good stuff!

    #27 | Comment by melly on June 10, 2006 4:12pm
  • Renee,

    Thank you. I told my wife about your site. She likes small dogs. She loved the picture of the dachshund you have today.

    #26 | Comment by Rick on June 10, 2006 4:13pm
  • Thank you, Melly. A lot of people blog about blogging. I like the blogs that are more generally oriented toward writing. I'm learning a lot about the process that way.

    #33 | Comment by Richard on June 10, 2006 4:27pm
  • You are the first who had the wit to define goal before setting it. I have read most of these project submissions and I can tell that most of us just pick an ad hoc goal and go towards that... these goals are bound to change along the way. We see these changes as natural development, but maybe we didn't put enough time on choosing our goals. Well, doing is anyway more productive than planning :)

  • Thank you, Jarkko. I enjoyed your breakdown for the last project of this sort. It was enlightening.

    We all have hidden assumptions or beliefs when we talk or make decisions. I try to become aware of these in my own life, and help other people do so with this site. Because of these hidden assumptions, most people's goals may not be as ad hoc as they seem.

    Since we change (at least, I hope we do) over time, yes, there will be change in our goals over time, but if you uncover some of the hidden assumptions, the amount of change will be decreased and yeah, you'll be more productive in the long run since you aren't wandering from one goal to another.

    #40 | Comment by Richard on June 11, 2006 2:18pm
  • Dear Rick,

    Thank you so much for the link on your blog, I've enjoyed exploring your professional take on the whole problem. I've spent most of my life trying to understand my "hidden assumptions." I've found the things you take for granted, when exposed, can make the best stories...

    I look forward to reading more of your work!

  • Thank you, Jason. I enjoyed your video and thought it was worth other people seeing.

    I'm not a professional by any means if you are referring to my blogging or the things I write about. I just try to present the information in the best way I can as I learn how the medium works, and write about the things I've found useful in my own life so you can try to use it in your life.

    #36 | Comment by Rick on June 15, 2006 12:53pm
  • Is there something in the air? The water?
    Goals and productivity are everywhere on the net, I've been in the throes of several posts myself, and you nailed it.

    Thank you!

    #1218 | Comment by Lisa on May 24, 2007 11:45am
  • Hey Lisa,

    I vote for the air. :-) Goals and productivity do seem to have a wide following. I just read your most recent post in the series. I love your formulas. If more of us kept the focus on pursuing goals in harmony with our values as you talk about, maybe these posts wouldn't be so common. Happy 100 posts, again! I'll be waiting for the next 100.

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