Goals & frameworks
Shortly after grad-school, I got dead serious about what I wanted. Doing quite a bit of reading, it seemed obvious that goal-setting & prioritizing action-items was the way to go.
To be transparent, the ‘Getting Things Done’ philosophy made an impression on me, as did a little booklet by Alan Lakein.
That was several years ago, and none of my goals got met. They only got met in 2015, when I abandoned goal-hunting and established a framework.
It was this systematic method that finally moved the needle for me. In the most general terms, a framework embodies the following:
- articulate some goals — making certain there’s good reason for wanting them;
- create ruts for yourself (e.g. blogging every day) which positively compliment your grand goal (i.e. writing a book).
And what’s yielded is the following:
- huge momentum built via these daily ruts in the long-tail;
- less fuss about creating/tweaking action-steps;
- goals reached simply as a side-effect.
You’ll notice that a framework chips away at goals almost as though we were on auto-pilot. The more traditional approach taps into our scarce will-power. Goal-hunting has us writhing in the tide of failure, when we should be just calmly paddling for the distant shore-line.
Climbing as analog
Mountain climbing at its core is similar to many things, and there’s an analogy often made between climbing and business. I needn’t say how many motivational posters I’ve seen with the picture of a man atop a mountain, coupled with a catchy stanza about grit & vision.
The best climbers typically say that ‘sending’ their projects is all about dreaming big, failing a ton, and showing up again & again despite all the knock-outs. For the entrepreneurs out there, does any of this ring a bell?
Oddly enough, a personal goal that got met in 2015 was a climbing-related one (I am a boulderer). I had been trying to reach this goal for what seemed to be forever.
How did I finally succeed? Well, setting priorities on action-items & tweaking milestones got me nowhere. Truly. All that did was encamp me snuggly on a wretched plateau.
In 2015, I applied a well-crafted framework, and just before the new year, I finally reached my climbing goal after nearly half a decade of frustration.
I have clear goals for the future — climbing & otherwise — and the method I will be using to meet them is obvious. I suggest anyone with seemingly unsurmountable goals learn about creating a framework for themselves. It discards a lot of the fuss, & builds momentum which ultimately can take you over the finish-line.