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Article: The Goal Setting Game of Change


Is this goal setting game the be-all and end-all?

In more formal language, is it a necessary and sufficient condition for living a satisfying and fulfilling life? Whether or not you believe that your life has some unfolding meaning, we are all of us faced with the reality of constant, unrelenting change.

Our physical bodies change. The environment around us changes. And on a personal level, careers change, relationships change, even our beliefs change as we age.

In this article I will present four key indicators of how in touch we are with the changes going on around and within us. I find these to be particularly helpful as a framework for my own self coaching, and indeed that of others.

1- Take Action

If we accept that change is occurring on a more or less constant basis, (sometimes dramatic, sometimes imperceptibly slow), it should be evident that there must be a whole symphony of actions taking place to allow change to function. I find this sobering thought to be an attractor for my own actions, such as they are. If not me, who? If not now, when? If not here, where?

2- Follow a Proven Plan

If it's been done before by someone, it can usually be done again by someone else. Experience bears this out in many areas of human endeavor -- sports, arts, science, careers, relationships, prosperity, happiness. And even those things we take to be new and often miraculous (e.g. the Internet), have their basis in the magic of human creativity and imagination. Your role models are out there -- in the flesh and in the digital and non-digital worlds. Go find them!

3- Focus

Focus specifically on one thing at a time. There may be exceptions where the multitasking state has a constructive and satisfying role to play e.g. family conversation while eating a meal together. However, my personal experience has been that multitasking tends to distract and decoy my perception of what I'm supposed to be doing.

Your mileage may vary and I don't intend to preach to you -- just be aware that when you are multitasking, if you're truly enjoying the sensory experiences it brings about. And before former colleagues contact me about my habit of wearing wireless earphones while at my desk, I should point out that most of the time I was listening to nothing! Their function was to tone down the distracting babble that 50 people can make when entombed daily in a waist high cubicle farm ;-)

4- Let Time Go Lightly

I've been to quite a few time management courses in my previous corporate career. The one that remains alive in my memory to this day was by a UK consultant working for 'Time Systems' in the early 1990s. At some point in his seminar, if I recall correctly, he asked the group to give their attention for a few minutes to a song called "Let Time Go Lightly", by the late Harry Chapin.

I was so moved by this that I bought the CD and gave the consultant a copy (oh, naughty me!) I've listened to this track many times since then and it has inspired a beautiful goal setting game I like to play. The one and only rule appears to be refereed by serendipity itself - to expect "time go lightly experiences" to float into your world on a daily basis. If you look they will surely begin to appear, but maybe not in the form you most expect! Have fun with this.