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Desired End States: Before Goal Setting

The year and the decade are coming to an end. Are you where you wanted to be in January? Or in January of 2010?

We are starting a series on how to make next year your best year, and have no regrets in 2030. It’s called the DFL Goal Setting Project and we’re going to start with a key distinction you must do before writing goals.

I’ll also give you a free resource that will give you a jumpstart of writing your goals now.

For ambitious people like you and me, it is probably time to do some Goal Setting. For the next 6 weeks, I will be doing a special series of videos on Goals I’m calling The DFL Goal Setting Project 2020.

We’ll go through my step by step process for developing goals.

Whether you are an old hand at goal setting or have never written one in your life, this is a series you don’t want to miss. You can get my free one-pager on goals by going to www.distinctionsforlife.tv/goalsetting

What do you want in life?

That’s the central question that DFL focuses on. And it is surprisingly difficult for some to answer.

I’ve stripped away a lot of fluffy versions of that question.

What’s your meaning in life?
What’s your Passion?
How do you want to be remembered?

All interesting questions, but, in the end, it is what do you want.

That may sound a little selfish, but it doesn’t have to be. You may want world peace and are willing to dedicate your life to making that happen.

So – I’ll ask it again – what do you want?

“I want a new Tesla Roadster and a trip to the moon.”

That’s one reason the question is tricky. We answer it small.

Yes a trip to the moon is small.

A trip to the moon is a thing.

And things are almost never what we really want.

We really want what think those things will give us.

We have to dig deeper.

We have to get to our Desired End State.

A good goal is measurable, time limited etc. all the SMART Goal stuff. But before you can start setting goals you have to know what you want those goal to accomplish. You need a vision and an understanding of where you want to be in the end.

I call this a Desired End State. It is the metaphoric place you want to be in when you finish. The place you will be satisfied with. The place you can see yourself being.

And you aren’t going to have just one Desired End State.

You will have the desired end state for each part of your life. There are lots of ways to break your life down into categories.

Some use arbitrary categories, like physical, spiritual, financial, relationships.

I generally break them up by roles in life. Take all the things you do in life and list them. I got this from Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.

Then for each of those roles create a Desired End State.

This is a big part of the Life Planning Retreat. You can find more about that in that video.

How do you know you’ve got a DES?

When you can visualize it.

You need to be able to make a mental picture of what it will be like when you are in your Desired End State. Once you have that, you can start working backwards and start crafting and setting various kinds of goals.

Having a clear vision of what you really want, all by itself is powerful. Like GIJoe used to tell use “Knowing is half the battle”

Weirdly sometimes just having a clear vision is all it takes.

There is something called ‘manifesting’ in certain parts of the personal development community. It is “The Secret” if you’ve ever seen that documentary. It is the idea if you get a clear vision of what you want, then the universe will make it happen.

I personally don’t think that’s the way the universe works. But I can’t deny that sometimes it happens. Sometimes I get clear on what I want and then out of the blue I get it.

A few decades back I did an exercise where I made a list of the places I wanted to live. With in a month I had 2 job offers in the top city in that list. Almost completely out of the blue.

Doesn’t matter why you think it happens, sometimes it does. Not all the time. Not often. But there is something going on that makes it happen. Sometimes.

So just getting a clear picture of where you want to be in the end, has value all by itself. But most of the time it is a starting point.

Or, more accurately, an ending point. That you can then work back from to set goals.

Which we will talk about in the next episode.

For now, if you want to get a clear Desired End State consider taking a Life Planning Retreat. I did another episode on how to do that and even give you a free $30 resource on how to do it.

Even if you don’t want to do a retreat, I’d encourage you to download the resource and use some of its methods to figure out what you really want in life.

Question of the day: What is your Desired End State in life?

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