Goal Setting Worksheet

There is a lot of theory and a lot of chatter online and offline about goal-setting:

  • “Are your goals SMART?”
  • “Should you focus on problem solving instead of goal-setting?”
  • “Is goal-setting simply wishful thinking?”
  • “Do people obsess about setting goals as a way to avoid taking action?”
goal setting worksheet
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While I recognize that some people may have a bias toward goal-setting, and others towards problem solving, I still see a problem solving orientation as a form of goal-setting. Classic goal-setting which focuses on where I want to go and what do I want to achieve seems to appeal to those with and offensive mindset whereas problem solving seems to click for those with a defensive mindset. However, if you are a problem solver, you are in a sense focusing on the goal of solving that problem; ultimately you are focused, which is the start of any successful outcome.

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How to Have a Productive Afternoon

I’m aproductivity_cmp morning person. I get 50-100% more done in a morning hour than in an afternoon hour. My thinking is clearer and I am more creative. My second best chunk of time is often from 6-9 pm in the evening. But afternoons can be a challenge, and from what I have seen this is true for many people.

One year ago, that would have been true for me. I have since narrowed the gap dramatically, to the point where my afternoons, while still not as productive as my mornings, are now better than that evening slot. And some days, the morning and the afternoon seem pretty close.

Here’s what’s changed:

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If You Weren’t Afraid…

It’s one of the most irritating personal development questions I have ever encountered. Yet it is also one of the most immediately actionable.

“What would yAnxietyou do if you weren’t afraid?”

What irritates me about this question is the assumption that there is fear in my life and that fear is holding me back from taking action in some way. What irritates me even more is that any time I have been honest about the question, I have been able to uncover a fear that is restraining me in some way.

It’s usually not a major fear like fear of death or crashing in a plane, but it is significant enough that it is keeping me from doing something I ought to do. Right now, as I do a quick scan over my life I see the following:

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West Coast Trail

The further aDSCF0448way it gets, the more I want to do it again.

Just over one year ago I hiked the West Coast Trail along the west coast of Vancouver Island with my friend Kelly and his two teenage sons. I am not so much a hiker as a canoeist, so in the months leading up to our July 1 start, Kristin and I did less canoeing and far more hiking than usual. I often carried a pack full of heavy books and some lead weight.

The day came, the hike started, and since we were going north to south, the trail began deceptively well groomed and easy to walk on. Just as we were about to leave the trail head a group that included and 80 year old lady was finishing up. “This should be easy!” we thought.DSCF0457

But then we hit some ladders, and the day was hot, and there was no water refill for the first 12 km, and then when we finally hit the beach it wasn’t the nice hard-packed pavement-like beach that there is at Long Beach near Tofino. It was soft and loose and slanted and exhausting. We went to the campsite at Darling River which made for a 14 km day. We were all a little dehydrated and surprisingly tired given how nice the trail had been for the most part.

Then came the mud and roots. When I think of the WCT, and the thing they really don’t talk about in the promo material, it’s the mud and roots. Miles of it. Every now and then we would convince ourselves that the next kilometer marker must be missing since “For sure we’ve gone more than a click since the last one!” Invariably another 200 or 300 meters and there it would be. We started to refer to them as “West Coast Kilometers” because they seemed so much longer than any other kilometers we’d ever seen.

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Reading a Book Beside the Lake

The story behind the picture.

As I was going through my pictures to find one that would work as an online poster, I came across this one of my daughter Danielle, taken many years ago while we were out camping as a family.

good bookIt was our first year in the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia. We decided to go up into the hills to go camping as a family one weekend and decided on a little walk-in lake called High Lake up the Oyama Lake Road.

Since we were now living in the warm, sunny Valley, we took our usual warm weather camping gear, notably our light summer sleeping bags. But we quickly discovered that once you went up into the hills, you were no longer in the Valley (duh!) and in fact were now in an entirely different climate. A 3000+ foot elevation gain will do that…

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