5 Steps to Designing Goals You Actually Want to Reach

 2010 December 18
by jessica mullen   15 Comments 

frame two!

Over a month ago I came across this post by SaraOoo about keeping your dreams close. Like, literally, in a picture frame on your desk. I was so inspired I went out the next day and thrifted a photo frame to cradle my own aspirations.

Since then, I’ve gone through 5 iterations of my goals. Each iteration taught me new things about how to create the best feelings (and thus results) from the exercise.

Iteration #1

1-dreams
My first list was vague, full more of concepts than specific goals. “New Age Playboy Mansion” was about manifesting a home full of mystical decadence and luxury. There would be a dungeon, a chef, swimming pools, and plenty of intoxicants.

A 10 minute mile and weight of 115 pounds were specific body goals that I felt capable of achieving. “Sex, drugs and dubstep” indicated my desire to party and explore Austin nightlife!

Iteration #2

2-declarations
I switched the title to “Declarations” and rephrased each item into a sentence I could repeat to myself over and over. I became more specific about how much money I wanted to manifest, and less specific about my goal weight. I’d rather feel like I have a perfect physical body than be a lower weight and feel imperfect.

I introduced “I spend 20 minutes a day visualizing what I want” to put more focus on making these declarations a physical reality. Each day when I would look at the list, I could answer yes or no whether I’d put in the time or not. How could I achieve my goals without spending time thinking about them?

Iteration #3

3
I wanted more. Why aim for $5000/month when I could have $10,000? Why have a 10 minute pace when it could be 9 minutes? Why vacation to Europe once when I could do it twice a year, every year?

Iteration #4

4-march
Since I was wrapping up the School of Life Design, I started thinking about how to move forward with this site. I created this iteration as a way to help myself start feeling good again, because in my then-nocturnal state I had been feeling lazy and unfocused. That’s why “I diligently produce blog posts and podcasts according to schedule” appears, because what I really wanted was to WANT to create.

I figured out a more specific body goal of fitting into my favorite jeans, because when I picture myself wearing them, I feel in control. It doesn’t matter whether the jeans ever actually fit or not, what matters is if I feel like I have my shit together.

The idea of including casual sex and drugs on my list of goals started to really gross me out! What the eff was I thinking? I just wanted to feel good, but realized that wasn’t the ticket!

I introduced the birthday deadline to put some pressure on myself. Without external deadlines, it’s easier to lose focus. Plus, best birthday present ever!

Iteration #5

march 12
I removed the line about visualizing 20 minutes a day because I achieved it! Visualization has become a delicious habit.

Last night, I found a way to decide whether a declaration should be on the list. If I get excited to think about it as I fall asleep, it’s a keeper. Then I determined that the only things on the list I get excited about are the creative projects. I don’t want to fantasize about having the body of my dreams or a million dollars in the bank or luxurious vacations, because they are manifestations that will result from feeling good. I feel good by looking for solutions, coming up with new ideas, finding ways to share my findings, pondering the next steps in my personal development and constantly, consciously creating.

How to come up with your own list

  1. Think about what you would do with your time if you didn’t have to work for money.
  2. Figure out the physical manifestations you want, like money or travel, then think about how you would feel if you had them.
  3. Revisit your list at least twice a day, when you wake up in the morning and before you go to bed. Read through each item and focus on how you feel when you read it. If you skip over an item or don’t feel anything special when you read it, get rid of it!
  4. Be specific with numbers. Then you know for sure whether or not you’ve reached your goal.
  5. Impose a deadline. Your work will expand to fit the time you give yourself, so if you don’t include a deadline it might take the rest of your life to achieve your dreams!



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