Friday, July 29, 2011

Life-Space Analysis and Goal Setting

Life happens in seven days, Monday to Sunday. Whatever you do, however you feel it happens with in these seven day cycles. Without a goal it will just be the same seven days that keep coming back. So, goal setting is the first step to begin your conscious life. The CEO of a Silicon Valley start-up and a yogi in the Himalayas both has goals for their life. While the CEOs goal is for his company to make it to the fortune five hundred list, the yogi wants to realize god. Whether they achieve their goals or not they know what they are going to do each day when they wake up. The entrepreneur is busy finding new clients and the Yogi is busy mastering yoga practices and reading spiritual scriptures.
Understanding the context of our life will help us come up with the goals which when achieved will positively move it forward. At a high level, our life context can be divided in to the following areas.
Do a life-space analysis and see where you stand in each of these six areas. Coming up with goals around these areas will keep us focused and our day balanced. For example a goal in the family space could be spending more time with your kid. A goal in the social space is to stay in touch with your friends and making new friends each month. A career goal could be to run a company of your own or become the vice president of your current company. A spiritual goal would be to visit a temple or a church once a week or practice yoga to keep your mind and senses calm.
Thousands of books and articles have been written that will help you set goals. Here is a link that briefs on how to create SMART goals. While you work using the SMART Goal principles to set and plan your goals in the six areas mentioned above the following guidelines will help you in your journey to reach them.
Get to the specifics
While planning your goals makes sure you get to the low level details quickly. For example, if your goal in the career space is to become a pilot. Instead of reading hundred books on 'How to fly in 24 hours' ,taking up the required training and getting your hands on to a real flight will get you closer to your goal.
Striking a Balance
How many times in our lives have we experienced the chain reaction of disaster? When a investment in stock market ends up at a wrong time(Financial Space) ,you get frustrated and can't concentrate on your job(Work),as the work pressure increases you don’t spend attention to your wife and kids(Family) and finally you will not pay your rent on time and end up paying the interest(Financial)
When things don't happen as expected in one of the spaces, instead of getting distressed we should convert the negative energy from that area to a positive energy in other areas. This will keep us away from the chain reaction of disaster and pull us back on track. From my personal experience, while working on my goals in any of six spaces when I feel imbalanced or a setback, spending more time in the spiritual space always got me back on track. This also helped me get to the core of the problems and find permanent solutions to the otherwise repeating problems.
Review and Learn
Going back to the seven day principle you should stop at the end of each seven day cycle (week) and spend some time evaluating the progress you made towards your goals. Sit in a calm place meditate for a minute and list what went wrong, what went right and the insights for the future. Using these insights to plan your work for the next seven days will help improve by not making the same mistakes again. Repeat this exercise once every month, three months and then end of the year.
It is better to have a silly or an unreachable goal than not having one. So set your goals for the six key areas of your life. Meditate and evaluate at the end of those seven days. As you keep yourself busy working on these goals you will not only learn and grow each moment but also will keep your brain processor busy. As we all know idle brain is devils workshop and having goals keeps you away from that nasty thoughts. By just setting a goal for yourself you have already moved to a different plain of life.