Charting my life on index cards – Saturday afternoon goal-setting workshop?

| planning

Begin with the end of mind, as the advice goes, so I reviewed the
index cards from a previous brainstorming session and summarized them
into these ideas about the person I want to be.

  • Well-read, with a range of experiences that help me relate to people
  • With strong, loving relationships
  • An accomplished speaker and writer: teacher, seller and storyteller
  • Wealthy: passive income exceeds expenses, ecomfortable retirement plan is in place, and skills prepare me for practically any event
  • With an excellent memory for names, faces, trivia

I wrote these ideas down using red ink on plain white index cards. I
laid the index cards on the floor so that I could see of my goals.
Then I started thinking about how I could achieve them, particularly
ways that could help me move towards two or more goals at the time. I
wrote those down using black ink, and clustered similar cards
together. I put down all the possibilities I was considering, even
though I’ll have to choose them eventually. I also wrote down how
those methods were related to my goals.

Doing this, I realized that I was following these principles:

  • Recycle and maximize experiences: Reflecting, writing and speaking helps me get even more value out of experiences.
  • Focus on long-term skills that can be used in different contexts: For example, people skills are useful for all of my goals, and will be helpful throughout my career
  • Choose activities that move towards multiple goals effectively.
  • Don’t be afraid to let go. Keep things simple and focused. I can’t do everything in my life, but I can choose what to do.

After I wrote down lots of methods, I laid out a timeline. I wrote
milestones down in red ink as I organized methods by their
requirements and by their fit with stages in my life. Now I have a
general idea of what I want to do, how to get there, and what it’s
going to look like along the way. I know what I can do in parallel. I
also have an idea of what I can drop if I need to, and how that
affects things down the line.

My draft timeline’s pretty packed right now, and I’ll need to
prioritize it and add conditionals along the way. Also, it doesn’t
take into account some timing quirks that I need to consider. I’m a
little nervous about some of the modifications I want to make, but
that’s something with which other people can help me.

A flowcharting tool would be perfect for this, but I didn’t want to do
a lot of mouse-work today, so I just wrote it down in a text file.

I’m pretty happy with the results, and I’m glad that I spent this
half-hour sorting through things.

I’d love to get together with other people to brainstorm with them
about our lives. If our out-of-town trip pushes through, then Saturday
will probably be my only free day for this. It’s a good afternoon kind
of thing, with index cards and multi-colored pens. Would anyone be
interested in a workshop this Saturday afternoon? We can work on the
studio floor, so you can spread index cards out as wide as you want.
I’d like to do this with other people because people can suggest
methods that one person might have overlooked, or ask good questions
in order to clarify goals.

So if you’re up for goal-setting this Saturday afternoon and you’re
somewhere in Metro Manila, e-mail me! We can do it from 1:30 – 3:00 or
so. E-mail me or leave a comment for directions and contact
information, and feel free to invite your friends!

Random Emacs symbol: gnus-article-strip-all-blank-lines – Command: Strip all blank lines.

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