Well Designed Action (WDA)
Goals are overrated!
The sentence "you need to make goals" is said too often. Especially for teenagers. Of course having goals are great, but unfortunately, the word is overused.
The concept of having "SMART" goals get closer to being useful, but the whole process of setting goals and then trying really hard to achieve them (often doing the same actions just harder) usually leads to frustration. Instead of creating goals, it's much more effective to think in terms of creating a system of actions that leads to an outcome.
The action part refers to thinking in terms of systems, not simply in terms of effort and reward. Actions can happen naturally, sometimes with little or no effort (goals always require effort). Actions are usually part of a system.
“If you can learn to create systems that work effectively, you will be astonished at how much you can achieve!”
The 4 criteria:
Stated in the positive
Getting started and the success (or failure) of the outcome depends entirely on you
It has a good size to time ratio that moves you into action and keeps you moving at a confortable pace
It is specific and measurable
The best virtue of the WDA is that they empower you with full control of the success or failure of the outcome. So much of our lives falls outside our control.
For ex it's impossible to control the grade that you may get on an essay, as it is ultimately up to the teacher. A goal would be to have good grades. A WDA on the other hand will focus you on the actual process of writing your paper effectively and in a way that produces the best work. Another WDA would be to work on your essay at least one hour per day for 3 days (meets the 4 criteria). It is important to learn turn attention inward and focus on what you can control in your life and to follow through on that action.
Achieving any of these WDA doesn't automatically mean that you will get all A's or avoid bad grades or being yelled at by your parents. However, following through on the outcomes over time does make a big difference in your self-confidence, ability to create new habits, and eventually the results your getting.
Let's start! Do this quick exercise:
What structure or system do you need that will help make this outcome easier to accomplish?
How will you know that you've accomplished this outcome?