Step One: Name Your Goal

Daily life is about logistics.  The details of our day-to-day are common to all of us.  We need to get to work, make sure the car has gas, get groceries, do laundry, household chores (both inside and out), and attend to all the various details that fill up our lives.  We don’t need much of a plan to handle the typical tasks of our lives . . . or do we?

If we simply live our lives based on running a defense strategy, we react and respond to things as they happen, but there doesn’t seem to be a lot of room left over in terms of time or energy to do much else.  At the end of a long day at work, several errands on the way home, cooking dinner and cleaning up the kitchen, and maybe folding a load or two of laundry, I’m fairly tuckered out.  How then, does one take up a hobby? go on vacation? finish that room in the basement? or finally achieve that life long goal of taking that extra long trip to that exotic place you’ve always dreamed about?

It seems to me the big goals are achieved purely on the basis of intention.  We need to run a little offense if we’re really going to get control of the game and achieve a few of those larger, tougher goals.

Answering the question, “What do you want to do?” is both deceptively simple and extraordinarily difficult.  Are we talking about what one wants to do today, this week, or even this month?  or are we considering larger issues that take planning, time, and discipline to achieve?

One’s near-term goals are fairly easily accomplished.  Finding the words to effectively state and describe a person’s larger goals is somewhat harder.

I play lots of solitaire and I win a lot of games.  I like playing solitaire because it teaches me that for every riddle or problem, there is an answer no matter how seemingly unlikely when I begin.  When I start a new game, the cards are all mixed up.  After a brief look at the overall spread of the cards, the first card I move is simply a guess.  Yes, I make my start with a simple guess.  My presumption is that I’m going to win the game, but I don’t really know if I will.  I make a start and as the game progresses, the lay of the cards will help me figure out the best order in which to move the cards.

All of us carry dreams and ideas around in our heads.  Once we make a statement, set a goal down on paper and decide that it is something we’re going to do, we’ve moved our first card.  Some goals are going to be easier to figure out how to accomplish than others.  The first step is to literally write your goal down on paper.  What exactly do you wish to do?  Once we have a clear statement of what we want to do, we can begin to make a plan.

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