How do you make long-term goals?

Discussion in 'PUBLIC: Discuss the GTD Methodology' started by GreenDog, Oct 14, 2019.

  1. GreenDog

    GreenDog Registered

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    My goals are organized into 1 year goals, 3 year goals, 5 year goals, and 10 year goals.

    However, long-term goals are useless without the support of strong personal development. I had to go through a lot of emotional labor for months to remove distractions and make my discipline reasonably reliable and develop enough passion and interest in my life purpose and accumulate strong enough momentum. Now, I find that my long-term plans are outdated due to months of slump.

    It seems to me that creating 1 year goals, 3 year goals, 5 year goals, and 10 year goals is not particularly a good way to organize long-term goals. The plan is simply not granular enough.

    What would be a good way to create and organize long-term goals?
     
  2. mcogilvie

    mcogilvie Registered

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    It seems to me that goal creation and organization are very different activities. There are lots of books about goal creation. I think for many people, goals are emergent: they reflect a larger understanding of the actions, projects and roles we already have. Of course, sometimes we want to or have to make changes in our lives. David Allen says that the value of goals and plans lies in how they change our perception now. There is an art to writing goals that survive our continuous re-understanding of our lives.

    GTD sees goals as part of a loose hierarchy, with life purpose above goals, and areas of focus, projects and next actions below. Rather than goals having plans of their own, granularity develops within the hierarchy. Suppose I have a long-term goal (3-5 years) of being a published writer. This is an ambitious goal. I decide writing needs to be an area of focus in my life. I decide to take a college course in creative writing. Finding the course and completing it is a project, with many next actions. Taking the course makes me aware of local writing groups, and I join one... and away I go. I might never achieve my original goal, but I have changed and enriched my life in a direction consistent with that goal.

    Perhaps if you could share one of your goals that has not been working, people here might have helpful comments.
     
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  3. mbusillo

    mbusillo Registered

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    Awesome insights, mcgilvie! Thanks for posting.
     
  4. ML1

    ML1 Registered

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    You mentioned the need of personal development. Keep in mind that your psychological maturation process will affect and update your goals. Goals you probably set 6 months ago will no longer be relevant, will change in its purpose or approach, or become more articulated.

    Use the steps of the Natural Planning Model to update such lists whenever you feel something is grabbing your attention about them.
     
  5. GreenDog

    GreenDog Registered

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    The reason that my goals weren't working was that I was lazy. It's simple as that. While task management and goals help me navigate, personal development and emotional labor are the fuel needed to drive to my goals.

    I have two major long-term goals.
    1. Making my japanese fluent enough for casual publishing.
      • I already read, write, and speak japanese to a degree. It's just nowhere near fluency, yet.
    2. Becoming the best visual/comics artist that I can be or that ever lived.
      • There is not much difference between the best that I can be and the best that ever lived.
      • I want to leave a legacy in my field that people look up to.
    Learning japanese is not very difficult since the bar is set low. Reasonable fluency is not that difficult. I already achieved reasonable fluency in english which is my second language. Doing it again in japanese is relatively straightforward.

    On the other hand, becoming the best possible in visual/comics art sets the bar high. It is only a while ago that I seriously began learning to draw.
    I don't expect to find someone who can help me or help each other with regard to visual art on this forum.

    Fortunately, reaching an intermediate level for almost anything including drawing is relatively straightforward. I already learned about a few different visual art learning plans created by experienced artists and distilled them into a solid plan that I can just follow and modify on the fly. I can do it myself at home as long as I do not procrastinate. Once I enter intermediate levels, I might want some guidance from other visual artists who learned fast.

    I want long-term plans that I can measure my progress against. Granularity and length of the plans seem to be relevant factors in measuring progress.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2019
  6. mcogilvie

    mcogilvie Registered

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    Hajimemashite, Green Dog. I’ve mostly forgotten the Japanese I’ve learned, but it has been very helpful traveling in Japan. Crucial once in a small town. How do you plan to keep your language skills in good shape? I’m guessing you might read manga in the original?

    I’m also curious about your second goal. How will you know you have achieved it? Is your goal commercial success? Critical acclaim? What kind or style of art do you want to produce?
     
  7. GreenDog

    GreenDog Registered

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    For now, I review and learn kanji characters and japanese words on Anki. I also learn japanese grammar and the theory of japanese phonetics. To practice japanese phonetics, I speak and memorize pitch accent of each unfamiliar word I encounter in Anki and japanese grammar books and watch japanese drama a bit.

    I learn japanese for less than 2 hours a day.

    In the future, I will use japanese on the internet. I will create manga in japanese. I will also talk with japanese artists on weekly meetings on skype or something like it.

    I don't want to talk about specific styles I want to draw. I'd rather show it than talk it. For now, I would just say that I love japanese drawing styles.
    I have certain styles of drawing that I have in my mind. The styles are the primary goal. Once I achieve that, I will know when I improve.
    This goal has no ending as the goal is to become the best that I can be.

    Commercial success and critical acclaim are necessary for making art, and they provide useful feedbacks. But, they are not the primary goals.

    I think that's enough information.

    I am thinking about how to translate endless goals into specific long-term goals that I can measure my progress against.
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2019
  8. Cpu_Modern

    Cpu_Modern Registered

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    You don't have to establish long-term goals to measure progress, just establish metrics.

    Notoriously in productivity circles Stephen King measures how many words he writes per day. He wants to hit the 1,000 words mark daily.

    This is what many other artists also do.

    You could set the goal of filling a sketchbook in such and such an amount of time. A hundred pages sketchbook every month?

    You have to find the metrics that work for you.

    You could start several sketchbooks of several types with the goal of completing one every month.

    The right short-range metrics with audacious endless goals are a good way, me thinks.
     
  9. GreenDog

    GreenDog Registered

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    I like metrics. While I can measure the amount of work I do with metrics, I cannot measure direction of progress with them.
    Long-term goals are good for setting direction. I think it is a good idea to derive long-term goals from where I want to be in the next 5 years.
     
  10. Oogiem

    Oogiem Registered

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    But you already have 2 long term goals defined. If you set the metrics to measure progress towards those you will be default start refining the goal as you go. So set the projects to work towards that. For the Japanese maybe the next project is writing a short story in Japanese and getting it published in some magazine with all the actions that go into that. For the art work maybe it's drawing for X many hours each day or taking some classes in specific art forms.

    Don't forget reviewing. I like to review quarterly, when the seasons change at the equinoxes and the solstices. First off as a farmer it fits with the natural cycle so is a natural break. Second it fits in with the concepts of a 12 week year and improves my success rate on projects and third it's a nice reset for my higher horizons and goals.
     
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