Web of Goals – Your approach

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Web of Goals – Your approach

Post by TomBombadil » Thu Jul 27, 2017 1:29 pm

So I'm asking myself a lot how to identify what's meaningful for me and how to get to a point in life where I focus on these parts of my life. Recently I came across an article that is targeting this question in a scientific way (you need access behind a paywall or be willing to cross it in any way).
http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/figure/1 ... 0903271074
I must admit that I only read a German summary of the article yet, so I cannot completely say if it is worth a read or not. However one of the results of the work was a list of “Sources of Meaning” that give humans meaning and lead them to enjoy meaningful lives. They can be grouped roughly in five categories. Another result: It seems to be helpful to focus on at least three out of the five categories.

Vertical selftranscendence
Explicit religiosity
Horizontal selftranscendence
Social commitment
Unison with nature
Well-being and relatedness

I have the feeling that the Web of Goals can be used as a hands on visualization and the Sources might be nice building blocks in it.
I also struggled the last years to pinpoint some of my deepest values and boiled it to roughly six which interestingly can be found in or mapped to the list above. The current stage there was reached while going through Coveys book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”.

I also made on or two Web of Goals on paper to depict different states in my past and was quite surprised in the end as a crisis could clearly be seen at one point where the majority of the web broke down.

But now to the point of this thread: What is your approach on the Web of Goals? Does anyone use the technique? Do you use is regularly, i.e. do you review and adapt it every now and then? What are your criteria to put things on it? Do you use pen and paper or a do it digital?

I thought about asking to post examples but I don't think it is a good idea. The webs are probably pretty personal and it might be misleading to have a look on other persons webs. But if you think it is a good idea feel free to do so.

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Re: Web of Goals – Your approach

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Thu Jul 27, 2017 9:11 pm

I am re-reading the book so that I can make a new one, because I messed up my first attempt. This is key.
Consider the sum total of all the effects of your actions. Since adopting specific actions will lead to specific outcomes, all effects can be considered goals, whether you actually want to achieve them or not.
For instance, temporary facial paralysis is effect of increased exposure to viruses which is effect of teaching young children from many lands, and gaining 10 lbs is effect of eating too much free restaurant food which is effect of dating affluent older men, and rosacea and wrinkles are effect of excess sun exposure which is effect of spending many hours gardening while melanin deficient. So unbeknownst to me, one of my goals was to achieve the appearance of an overstuffed poorly carved apple-head doll.

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Re: Web of Goals – Your approach

Post by Dragline » Thu Jul 27, 2017 9:30 pm

I tend to consider goals in three categories: Health, Wealth/Work, and Social/Family/Spirituality. Value any propose action on whether it improves or detracts from each category, or is neutral. If an activity nets at least two positives and no negatives, its a go.

But on the meta-scale, the question may be whether it fits into your personal narrative - which you may have adopted but are free to invent. If it doesn't, you probably won't do it anyway.

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Re: Web of Goals – Your approach

Post by wolf » Fri Jul 28, 2017 2:34 am

Very interesting topic!

First, I have also researched a little this morning about "sources of meaning". I ended at a website, called sinnforschung.org, which has some good material about meaning. There you also can find the 26 "sources of meaning", written in German-language.

Second, I recently discovered and defined my missions in life mid-term, which give me direction and orientation regarding actions and decisions. Have a look at my journal post , if you are interested.
From those three missions (important areas in life) I broke top-down examples of primary and secondary goals. Then I thought about actual examples, where I do have mutually positive side-effects (synergies). There are quite many, if you think about it. Well, that was top-down beginning with my known important missions/areas in life.

I guess the process started earlier. In the last few years I figured out, what values in life are important to me. The result in my case: independency, freedom, authentic life, integrity, self-actualization. I can recommend you also to investigate more about your values in life, if you haven't done it yet, but I guess you have already.

Then in the last few years I have read a lot about psychology, e.g. a monthly magazine called "Psychologie Heute" (I guess you know it). As a positive side-effect it started and later improved my personal process of "satisfaction in life". It lead to many personal findings, e.g. values in life, strength, personality, meaning of life... I combined the research of psychology with writing. I wrote a lot and still do. Mostly I write about my own thoughts. That lead again to more and other ideas in various areas of my life. In conclusion, I can see in retrospective, that all this (psychology, writing, thinking) were mutually beneficial and lead to many new findings. To be honest, it lead also to ERE, because I found out that I value independence and freedom in my life and I have been always frugal and saved a lot. That combined with the tendency of my collegueaus to "retire early" and a man I met when traveling, lead to google with the phrase: "early retirement" --> ERE. Funny somehow, but the loop was closed and I knew what I wanted. That lead to a carfree life and a high saving rate with the goal to FIRE2024. :-) Very happy about that all. It satisfies and give me meaning.

As a conclusion, I would say:
- investigate values in life
- write an think about it
- research papers, books, articles, good blog post
- try to search for mutually beneficial side-effects (synergies)
- try to figure out what your missions in life are
- maybe focus on the process and not too much on the destination (goals, objectives)
- include your personality, strength
- start with what you know and then come up with new ideas

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Re: Web of Goals – Your approach

Post by wood » Fri Jul 28, 2017 3:23 am

Interesting topic. I've been looking into this lately too, and I've always been a fan of personal goal setting, to-do-lists and such. I haven't fully understood the Web of Goals "technique" yet, but my approach has always been to divide life into categories. There are currently 5, quite similar to Dragline's and sometimes I assign goals to them.

I have looked at each year in my life since 2006 and given each category a rating (0-10) based on how well it was doing at the time. I haven't found any meaningful patterns yet apart from each category moving up and down in what looks like cycles. It's a fruitful self-reflection exercise.

I would love to see someone's personal Web of Goals setup. Not for curiosity, but to learn. Sometimes when I start writing these things down (goals, life missions, you name it) it becomes too tedious and detailed, and it makes me review it once or twice and then forget about it. The only thing that has worked for me consistently is having an annual review of my life categories. The review itself seems to happen every 2-3 years :lol:

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Re: Web of Goals – Your approach

Post by Quadalupe » Fri Jul 28, 2017 4:12 am

Just FYI, the paper is available for free (legally) through researchgate.

In general, if you want to find a paper, search google scholar for the paper name. Nine times out of ten, you'll find a pdf version linked there.

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Re: Web of Goals – Your approach

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Fri Jul 28, 2017 9:00 am

Dragline said: But on the meta-scale, the question may be whether it fits into your personal narrative - which you may have adopted but are free to invent. If it doesn't, you probably won't do it anyway.
Narrative, values, actual practices/behaviors, and goals- I think it is difficult to determine which comes first. Home-Work-Gym-Travel-Church-Library might be obvious categories simply because those are the 6 places in which an individual's body and brain are to be found on a regular/rotating basis, and actual practices must occur in some actual place. Of course, a place might be more or less loosely defined. For instance, the current location of your minimalist toolbox might define Workshop, the location of any particular instance of something like a stand of very large white birch might define Church for a solitary-pagan such as myself, and a set of icons on a smart phone might define Bank of Investments.

Just yesterday, due to the fact that I am currently on-site/duty with decrepit mother and mentally ill 2nd sister, my third sister remarked to me "You are stuck in the role of big sister." This is an observation which is true whether considered on psychological or ground literal level. So, at this moment in time, when I scan a list of values such as this:

The 3 that I picked were Adventure, Autonomy and Curiosity, but that is more reflective of where my gaze is longingly focused than where my feet are currently planted.

In "It's Only Too Late If You Don't Start Now.", Barbara Sher suggests that at midlife being an early adopter of return to interests that you held prior to puberty through nesting hormone driven phase of life will best promote self-interest. But hormones and other biochemicals that roughly align with inherent temperament will always hold some sway which behavioral mechanisms can perhaps only mediate.

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Re: Web of Goals – Your approach

Post by wolf » Fri Aug 11, 2017 5:33 am

Maybe that helps figuring out your web of goals. It is about the importance of longterm goals and shortterm actions. I combined it with my web of goals.

http://www.consultantsmind.com/2017/07/ ... long-term/

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Re: Web of Goals – Your approach

Post by TomBombadil » Tue Aug 22, 2017 2:04 pm

Thanks everyone for all your input! I might create a digital version of my web of goals later and post it here.

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