Holiday Greetings and Welcome to 2018

Holiday Greetings

As the year comes to a close, I find that I want to hibernate. The holidays are nearly complete and it is cold, perfect for spending days curled up with a blanket, keeping warm.

Of course that really isn’t possible and so the only thing I can do is look forward to when things warm up.

I hope you’ve had a wonderful holiday season. And, I hope 2018 treats you well.

I’ve been making changes to my website, hopefully I will be able to show them to you soon.

My favorite thing about this time of year is the hope that the coming year will be a good one. It doesn’t always turn out that way, but therein lies the hope.

Thank you for sticking with me through this past year. It has been a rollercoaster and I am looking forward to a smoother journey.

Life seldom gives us smooth roads, no matter how much we wish for them. The only thing I know for certain is the coming year will be interesting.

I’ll see you in the new year.



How to Put Reverse Engineered Goal Setting into Practice

Engineered Goal Setting Practice

We all know that I hate goal setting. I’ve written about this in other posts:

The Problem with Goal Setting


And, as stated previously, I believe in the power of setting goals.

So, how do I reconcile these two beliefs?

After listening to Gabriela Pereira speak about her process of mind mapping and reverse engineered goals, I decided this made sense to me. I plan my novels by starting at the end, so why not the other projects I’m working on.

I like this idea for several reasons:

First, this process requires you to see the end that you want and is time specific. Deadlines are good! Mostly!

Second, reverse engineered goals require that you think through what needs to happen to reach that goal.

Third, by going through these steps, you are able to test your commitment to your goal. What that means is by thinking through the steps, and the impact on your life, you can see if the goal is feasible within the time frame you decided upon.

Fourth, because reverse engineered goals begin with brainstorming, you have a visual reminder of your process. This is helpful for me because if it isn’t written down, I tend to forget it.

Recap of Reverse Engineered Goals

As a reminder of the steps to reverse engineered goal setting are as follows, according to :

1. Determine the most basic level of the goal.
2. Ensure you are committed.
3. Identify as many steps as possible that are required to reach your goal.
4. Take action.

The IRL example of reversed engineered goal setting:

One of the goals I would like to achieve according to my very own mind mapping is to launch an ebook in September, in time for NaNoWriMo.

Here is a picture of the brainstorming of this goal:

This is my first session and I believe there will be more as I solidify my goal. But for this example, I have an idea of how to plan the steps.

Goal – Launch ebook – September 1, 2018
August – Media blitz
July – Create graphics and media documents, format ebook, website updates
June – Send to fellow WriMo’s for edits.
May – Make changes suggested by editor
April – While waiting for the edits, plan for changes to website and create media plan
March – Final edits, send to editor
February – Finish writing
January – Dig out original draft. Read through and make notes.

Hope for Goal SettingAs I look over my plan, this appears to be doable. None of these steps are unreachable and by breaking down the steps I believe I can achieve this goal. I can see reaching this goal.

Also, as I look over this list, I can see that each one of these monthly goals can be broken down into weekly goals. I intend to do this by brainstorming each month, as I believe necessary to create the next steps.

Reverse engineered goal setting is a refining process that allows you hone your goals and maximize your time.

For the first time in a long time I am excited about goal setting.

I would love to hear about how you put reverse engineered goals into practice.


The Problem with Goal Setting

The Problem with Setting Goals

I hate goals.

I hate making them.

I hate the guilt of not completing them.

I hate the thought of goals.

To be honest, I believe in goals. I believe in working toward the things you want, whatever that may be. However, the journey often ends in detours on the way to your goal.

Or, in my case, complete failure, although I learn invaluable lessons along the way.

Goal Setting

Nearly everyone has heard of SMART goal setting:

S = Specific

M = Measurable

A = Attainable

R = Realistic

T = Timely

If you research how to set goals, this technique is often one of the first items that pop up. And, if this works for you, that’s fabulous. It doesn’t work for me.

Regardless of how much I set my mind to a specific goal, I never follow through with the steps.

Mostly, when I have a goal in mind, I vaguely stumble around, sometimes reaching the goal, more often not.

The other day, I was listening to Gabriela Pereira of DIY MFA recently speaking during an impromptu Facebook Live presentation. She is one of those people who work hard to reach her goals. During this particularly Live presentation, she shared her process for setting and achieving her goals. Although she admits to being a bit overenthusiastic when it comes to her process, some of the things she discusses resonated with me. Hopefully, you will get something out of it too.

Mind Mapping

Mind mapping is a common technique, familiar to most people. But if you’ve never heard of it, it’s a simple technique.

To mind map, you take a blank piece of paper, put whatever subject you’ve been thinking about and then write down everything you can think of related to that subject.

It can look like this:

When it comes to setting goals, using a mind map can help you to draw out all of those ideas you’ve been carrying in your head. Gabriela recommends multiple mind mapping sessions on the same subject, digging a bit deeper each time you complete one.

I’ve been using this Mind Mapping technique to work on what I want to accomplish in 2018. It is a work in progress.

Reverse Engineered Goals

Once you Mind Mapped something down to its core, the next step is to Reverse Engineer some goals.

What is Reverse Engineered Goals you might ask?

Let’s begin with what reverse engineering is. The definition is “is taking apart an object to see how it works to duplicate or enhance the object.”

So, how does this apply to creating goals?

It’s simple. Begin with the end. Decide on your end goal and work backward.

According to Mark McGuiness, there are a few steps to reverse engineer your goals:

  1. Determine the most basic level of the goal.
  2. Ensure you are committed.
  3. Identify as many steps as possible that are required to reach your goal.
  4. Take action.

Sounds easy, right?

Nothing is ever that easy.

When it comes right down to it, the most difficult one, at least for me, is number 2 – ensure you are committed. Number 4, Take Action, is a close second.

I’m not sure I can define commitment for myself, let alone anyone else. But I think the Mind Mapping sessions you have will give you some idea of your level of commitment.

I’ve come across the thought that goals are dreams that are written down. There is probably some truth to that statement.

As I said, I’m in the process of mind mapping for 2018 and just dabbling in the reverse engineered goals.

If I can ensure my commitment, things are going to happen this year. That is if I can take action to meet my goals.

But that is my challenge.

What are your challenges when it comes to setting and succeeding at goals?

Have a fabulous week!