Sunday, May 29, 2011

In re: J.T. O'Connell Maybe the Anti-Goal?

J.T. O'Connell

I am a big goal maker. I like to write them down. I would honestly say I meet about 60% of my goals if I considered all aspects of my life. Cleaning the house. Working out. Reading my Bible. And so on.

What J.T. O'Connell was talking about, making that goal that sounds easy but ends up hard and stops us in our tracks, I think that has a value to it. Ladies and gentlemen, I present the ANTI-GOAL

I realized I make these, subconsciously. Take O'Connell's situation. He made a goal about reading, it was too strenuous, he rejected it to work on writing. Hmmmm. Interesting.

At the beginning of the year I made three categories of goals. Write a novel before the end of the year. Stick to my house cleaning schedule 80% of the weekly scheduled tasks (HA!). Work out 3 times a week for two weeks to work up to 5 times a week alternating cardio and strength training (I currently work in 2-3 cardio workouts, roughly 1 strength training session per week).

Now the year is almost half way over. In rejecting my harder, not so fun goals (cleaning, working out) I have actually accelerated on my writing goal. My book isn't coming out in December, but August. That's a 33% acceleration on one project. Imagine going to your boss with that number? "Uh, yes sir, I will be finished in two-thirds of the time you gave me for the assignment." Now, looking at my house cleaning goal, I'm so fired. Working out? Let's just say my manager would probably be counseling me.

So here's the supposition: Create ANTI-GOALS to accelerate other goals. Make slightly outrageous goals, ones you *really* don't want to do. Make them undesirable in comparison to the goals you really must get done, and ta da, you're coming in 33% before deadline.

Anyone else have thoughts?

"CANCELLED" arriving Late Summer 2011. A robotics engineer asks his business partner to marry him, but a previous one-night stand is having his baby.


  1. It makes sense to push yourself onto one dedication by providing faux necessity of working on another. However, what is prescribed as the anti-goal may become a bit of a looming terror in and of itself.

    So, I guess I couldn't make my anti-goals things that I'd want to care about and not end up hating. But it does change the dynamic completely to stop looking at goals as mere positive-in, negative-out methods of control and to begin using that which is a necessary negative-in to accelerate a positive-in... I'm going to have to give this some real thought!

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