Getting what you want: 80% Why, What, Where, Who, When and 20% How

There are really important reasons that you don't you just..you know, do the thing that you want to do.

Most of us who begin the process of creating goals report the feeling of being "stuck" at some point or another. Sentences like, "I don't even know where to start" and "What am I supposed to do?" and any attempt at suggestions by friends are usually met with, "Yes, but I can't do it that way for [reasons x,y,z]" So, in the past, we have ended up doing pretty much nothing but a lot of talking.

Being stuck is such an awful feeling. The thing I hear most from friends who are trying to start their own thing, like a coffee shop, buy a home for investment purposes, or start a website, is "I don't know how to do it." Ok. You know HOW to do it. Of course you know HOW to do it. Google it, and you'll find 1) The books you need to read to learn about it 2) Someone who has done it before describing exactly how she did it 3) An online forum or in-person meetup of like-minded individuals.
But I think what most people mean is: "There are way too many steps between what I'm doing now and the thing I want to do, and it's way too confusing for me to figure out, so I'm shutting down."

Which is totally understandable. I don't think humans naturally deal with multi-stepped plans very well, at least not without a lot of support and planning.

I just finished reading this article about New Year's Resolutions (Are people still making these?) He outlines one really basic part of reaching goals. They have to be really, really specific. Detailed and specific goals sort of bypass the whole "too-many steps" thing that makes it so hard for humans to get things done, because either you're going to draft a basic e-mail to send to a potential client demographic by 2:30 this afternoon or you aren't. If your goal is "Get all my e-mails sorted out" it's hard to know where to start, what to do, or when you've finished.

I find really magical things start to occur when I start asking for exactly what I want. I have a friend who goes into the thrift store looking for something incredibly specific, and walks out 2 minutes later with the thing that she wanted in her hand.

Even very, very unrealistic goals start happening when you get really specific about them. While I don't believe that the universe wants to provide you what you want, I do believe that when you get specific about goals your subconscious can work at creating it. So even though it seems like something is happening magically, it's actually YOU that created it. You just weren't aware of it.

So here's one process that you can use to have a clearer idea of exactly what you want:

Make an inspiration collage.

  1.  Grab a stack of magazines, a glue stick, scissors, and a piece of thick paper of any size. (Two pieces of 8.5x11 paper are a good size for me.)
  2. Set the timer for 10 minutes, and start browsing through your magazines, tearing or cutting out the pages that you are drawn to. Don't think too hard about this process. You are trying to tap into your less obvious wants and desires, so just rip out the pages without thinking. Go quickly, because you've only got 10 minutes!
  3. Set your timer for another 5 minutes. Cut out the parts of the images that were interesting to you and glue them to your thicker piece of paper in a way that makes sense to you. Again, don't think too much about it, just go with your gut feeling. * An important note - Make sure if you have cut out images of people whom you associated with yourself that you cut out any faces and do not include them in the collage. It sounds weird, but you want these images to lose their identities in order to replace them more easily with your own.
  4. Once your collage is all glued and assembled, take out a piece of paper, and going around your collage, start the sentence "I am the one who...." and say the first thing that comes into your mind about each picture in the collage. For example, perhaps I cut out a steaming mug of coffee. The first thing that might come to mind would be to say, "I am the one who always has time to chill out and relax for 5 minutes." or maybe "I am the one who nurtures myself through buying my favorite coffee without worrying about the price." Everyone chooses different images that mean something to them, and it doesn't have to make sense. It's coming straight from your subconscious brain. Make sure to write these notes down.
The next day, or the day after, get out your inspiration collage and your notes, and make another list. When, where, who, and how. Under each "I am the one who..." statement, make a note of when you want this to happen, where it will happen, who you need support from to make it happen, and how it's going to happen. I'm often less concerned with the how, because so much of the time the how is often the last 20% of the project, and I end up walking into my goals effortlessly. (At least it feels like no effort, but in reality I've probably been working really hard.)

I think that book The Secret talks about something similar, but it's not much of a secret. :)


Post a Comment