Introduction to Goal Setting: Beggining with End in Mind

How can you know what you should do right now, today, or this week if you do not know what you want your future to be like? Before making a plan about what you should do today and over the next week you need to have an have at least an idea of what you are aiming for will require.  Specific of long-term plans can and will change. What you wanted to be when your were four is probably different than it is now. As you have more life experiences your perspectives and desires change. While that is natural, most people have not really taken the time to seriously think about what fits their interests, skills, would provide a satisfying lifestyle, is beneficial for themselves, beneficial for society, practical, and all the other factors that play a role in deciding what to strive towards. As you think about it and make a plans that you take action on, the experiences will give rise to new opportunities and understandings that lead to understanding the details of your long-term goals.

The circument the issues involved with altering plans too often, you set a central purpose.  There is no definitive end to this and it is broad enough to allow for enumerable life paths. A central purpose can take a form such as the following: “Use my skills in and passion for (science, music, writing, building things) to become a better person and benefit society.” That is very broad, but helps lead narrow in on more specific ideas. Honest hard work and focus on doing good will solidify the goals. The general area (science, service to others, building things) and "doing good" should stay the same. As you work towards a goal in a general area you have accomplishments and gains that aid in a range of potential long-term goals. For example, applying to college, accepting the offer to college, taking and passing basic required courses, getting involved in clubs, volunteer work, and applying to internships involve experiences and learning skills that are beneficial to enumerable career goals. And remember that learning about what you don’t want to do is an important part in learning what you should. The main point is to get in the habit of making plans and taking ACTION. Additionally, the evolution of your mindset and what is learned during the experiences that occur during honest work towards good will be valuable regardless.

Begin with end in mind and having a central purpose

Beginning with the end in mind widely acknowledge as important and is also one of Stephen Covey’s Habits of Highly Effective People. However, there are several aspects of it that are less talked about and should be considered when what figuring out the ends that are best. First of all, end goals that are farther in the future are naturally lower in resolution. This means the specifics of it are not a clear and more likely to evolve as life experiences cause you to change as person. And the more you change as person, the more your envisioned future changes. Additionally, different kinds of change effect your potential in different ways. Changes in personality, relationships, skill set, and life circumstances effect the way you can envision the future differently. These is not necessarily good or bad. It just happens and you deal with it. It is stressful and hurts potential achievements. This is where a central purpose that acts as a timeless unchanging goal becomes crucial. It is a constant factor that makes what your goals less influenced by forces outside of your control. When decisions and actions are connected to same stable purpose across time you are more in control of your life. Consider the common example of having parents express doubt. They will often talk about ways it could go wrong. There is a good chance your plans are derailed right there if you do not have a central purpose. With a central purpose, the confidence in what you should do allows you to be more objective about their input. As will be discussed, during this whole process you are seeking out the truth. Knowing the truth makes you more effective at making plans that work and setting goals you can actually achieve. Ideally, you judge opinions on there merit, not the source. Overtime you become better at knowing what is and is not consistent with reality. If there is some truth in doubts of people close to you, you lesson and factor it in to your planes. It’s not a big deal. Just know that parents are mainly judging your capabilities on the bases of their own life experiences and you will be much more capable than them you go down a path doing good, continual self-improvement, and leveraging the science of goal-drirected behavior that is central to brain function.

Ben ShelerComment