Episode 3: Here Is Where We Set Our Goals

September 8, 2015

Welcome students, the Fall 2015 Semester is here! Let’s get started identifying some goals we’d like to tackle.

So when last we left our hero, he had entered RU b/c his mom wanted him to be a P.A. (see Episode 2 for this story!), and after the first semester, he realized that he actually really didn’t want to do that goal that someone else set for him, so instead he finally began to pursue his own goal based on one of his passions (love of reading—>English major/degree).
My first full-time job out of college was working in a group home with people who had mental illness, coming straight out of the state hospital system.
  • Someone from agency would visit hospital (later this was me)
  • Person may have been there a long time (deinstitutionalized, unpredictable)
  • Discharged to a regular-looking home in the community that was staffed 24/7
  • Person is supposed to “get better” and move up the ladder to a semi-supervised apt.
  • My role was to make sure they cooked, cleaned, drove them where they needed to go, made sure they took their medicine and stayed out of trouble.
  • “Work” hours are spent in a day program, which in the year 2000 was essentially a state-funded adult daycare service that disguised itself as rehabilitation in most cases.
  • Most of these people would have a hard time articulating goals. If you asked them at any one time, it might be “to have a cigarette” or “go to the store to buy …”
  • People were given goals of “Remain medication compliant”, “Stay out of hospital” over and over
Key Info for this Podcast: 
It takes real work to think about and come up with a good goal.  The people I’m describing, some of them had Big Goals, but many of them would not be able to tell you their dreams. For some, they were probably felt shame in being truthful about what they really wanted. For others, they never thought hard enough about it b/c they knew they’d never get there.  And for still others, they were simply never asked.
How to do it:
Start with thinking big, but it doesn’t have to be huge.  Just something you really want to do. We’re gonna refer to it as our Big Goal (BG) from now on, with the understanding being that it might not be earth-shattering. It’s okay. You just need a place to start.  When you look at a roadmap, sometimes you know the exact coordinates/address, and sometimes you just know you need to head west.  Knowing you need to head west is better than not knowing anything about where you’re headed, like those people I used to work with. What moves you? For me, it was reading back when I was in undergrad. If you remember back to Episode 2, we talked about the 4 domains (Living/Learning/Working/Socializing).
Then, make it into a statement.
Big Goal = “I will” + (verb) + (something related to 1 of the domains) + (by a certain time)
To give you an idea of how this works, my Big Goal is as follows:
“I will figure out how to homeschool my son by the time he’s ready for kindergarten.” (2 years)
Examples of each:
Here are some other examples of Big (Passion) goals
I will complete my college degree (only if it’s your passion) by May 2017
I will find a boyfriend or girlfriend
I will lose 50lbs
I will get a job as a vet tech by the end of the year
I will get my own off campus apartment for next semester
The timeframe can be long or short, but you need some kind of timeframe to keep yourself accountable.
As much as the Big Goal matters, we actually won’t spend as much time here discussing it as the little things we are doing to every day to get to that BG. Theoretically, the BG’s a little way off, so while it’s important to know what you want, know that it can change (and that’s expected) and focusing/talking about the BG too much can lead to paralysis (all talk no action).
Now, for next week’s episode we’ll talk about taking that first step, Identifying one habit/ritual you can start working on over the the next couple of weeks.
Comment/Rate/Subscribe in itunes please! It really is the one single greatest thing you could do to help the show get off the ground. Thanks!
Link to thread on blog to discuss the episode to follow, as I’m still working on setting up the subreddit.

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