Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The Old System Vs The New System

I'd like to note that as of yesterday I totally eliminated using pen and paper for goal writing/brainstorming. I've forced myself to go completely digital. That said, I think it's a good idea to start out with pen and paper for a lot of things. We'll get into those things in future posts.

The Old System
So my old system for setting and achieving goals was basically taking some time each day to write the goals (I have binders full, I'll show you when I move back to Milwaukee) and then coming up with some things you could do each day to move yourself forward. These goals you wrote were also suppose to be things you wanted to get done within a year.

Looking back on it there are some obvious flaws in that system. The easiest one to spot is that every day that goes by brings you closer to the end of a year. Over a couple of days that doesn't matter, but over months... It kind of messes the mindset up. Also, focusing on what you want to get done in the future takes you out of the present. This is probably the single largest change from the old to the new. Switching the focus from the future to the present.

Why Change the Focus?
I'll do a post about the epiphany I had, but it basically amounts to something you've heard before:
It's the journey, not the destination.
That's a simple enough concept and everyone will tell themselves that they know it. Well, speaking as a practicing daoist for the last 20 years or so of my life, I'm going to tell you that you don't know shit! (Well, maybe you do, but I'm certain I'll bat over .900 with that statement). If you don't know much about daoism, a large part of it's philosophy revolves around being in the present and how the past and the future are illusions. I'm getting side tracked...

The switch of focus is because you want to feel good NOW. Not in 2 years, 2 months or even 2 days (or later today for that matter). You want to feel good... wait for it... not... wait... NOW... no no... NOW! You get what I'm saying. So how do you cultivate the now? By switching your focus to the now (or as close as you can get to it).

The New System
The new system will still include long term goals and goals with fixed dates, but that won't be the focus. Instead of focusing on the future and fumbling in the present, you're going to focus on the present and glide to the future.

I've already spent a lot of time thinking about what I want my future to look like and things I want to accomplish. This will be a necessary step for you as well. I'll use an example to highlight what I'm talking about.

One of my old goals was :
I have my BJJ purple belt within a year.
Fine. But how is writing or thinking about that everyday going to help (especially when I'm in Iowa with no place to train!) The NEW system involves creating a daily goal.
I train BJJ.
That's all you need to say. Will it be everyday? If you're crazy like I am it will, but maybe for you that statement means you train when the gym is open... actually, fuck that. You train everyday! If you can't go to the gym and roll, then you should spend some time reading/watching videos, or even doing solo drills in your house.

So what you basically end up doing is creating your vision, coming up with specific future goals for you vision and then figuring out what you need to do everyday to make that vision a reality. The AWESOME part about this (and pretty much necessary component) is that once everything is aligned properly you'll realize how fun it is working hard each day to move closer to your vision. Once you unlock that state of mind (it could happen in an instant!) you'll TRULY understand the meaning of:
It's the journey, not the destination.
It's a hard pill to swallow but you MUST recognize that whatever it is you think you want... you don't. What you really want is that feeling you think you'll feel when you get what you want. The feeling will most likely be good, but it will be fleeting. Instead you want to cultivate that every moment good feeling of knowing your working towards building your dream existence. Whether you fail or succeed doesn't matter. Once your living in alignment (aka pwning life) you're officially a success!


  1. wow I seriously did miss this & you!

    I totally get that now. My younger self was unable to comprehend this but through my experiences, the ones I gathered over the past three years, I am able to receive this lesson and turn it into a reality.

    Thank you, Casey.

  2. So the main difference is instead of saying "I have X" you figure out what needs to be done to get it, and you write it in that form "I do X."

    Subtle, but I think a profound difference. I'll have to look back at my goal writing binders but I -think- the goals I actually accomplished were the ones I wrote in that "I do X" format.

    1. Pretty much. You said it. Subtle but profound. All one needs to do is get into the habit of doing what needs to get done to get there. Don't even need to think about the there once the habit is formed. Getting there will happen naturally.

  3. So, random question, when you say you've gone full digital with your goal writing, are you using a private google blog page of some kind? Or just a word document on your computer?

    I enjoyed success with the old system writing with pen and paper but sometimes I'd misplace the notebook or something. But I haven't really found a good way to organize goals with t3h digitalz. Any recommendations?

    1. If you look at the pages above, you'll see active goals, levels and soon long term (or something to that effect) goals. Levels/Long term goals will be my distant mountain top, active goals are (perhaps the minimum) of what I need to do everyday to take me there.

      I've made one of those pages my home page so it's the first thing I see when I start the computer (active since it's the only one near completion). Then I'm going to just update things when I feel the need to.

      Ultimately, I'd like to do this on a personal, but public (certainly doesn't need to be public) blog so I can talk to myself about what's working, what not and what changes I've made and why. Until we get to a certain number of active users (I have a number in mind) I'll move the pwning stuff to the "mind of mtk" blog (might actually do that in the nearish future).

      I ultimately don't want this blog to be about me. I want it to be about "us," the community, so all the personal stuff would get replaced with values and goals of the tribe.

      That said, I wouldn't jump straight to all digital. Keep rocking the old school method until switching makes sense. For example, I've also eliminated using a to-do list and basically work in the moment (my email is the closest thing I have to a to-do list now, but I don't write it, people send it to me).