Before the class session, please read the background materials linked below.
The New Year is a natural time to look ahead and consider how to achieve what's important to you. Perhaps you have a long history of setting and failing New Year's Resolutions or other goals. In this workshop we provide the best tools and heuristics for constructing New Year's goals that you're much more likely to achieve.
- Read the essay Aligning the Elephant and the Rider.
- Review the video Goal Repotting.
Take turns going through the parts below. Each person should complete all the parts before moving to the next person. In addition, take a ten-minute break halfway through the workshop session.
Define the Goal [40 minutes]
Go around the cohort meeting and take turns briefly describing your top-of-mind most important goal that you want to achieve in 2023. For each person's goal, the cohort should suggest ways in which the goal could be made more Elephant-friendly. Refer to the following list, summarized from the Aligning the Elephant and the Rider essay, to guide your discussion of each person's goal.
- How does the goal connect to survival, social connection, self-esteem, mastery, pleasure, meaning, growth and power?
- How can you involve other people?
- Could this goal be broadened or repotted without losing its urgency?
- Is the goal SMART? How can it be made SMART without upsetting the Elephant?
- Are there any particular terms of the Motivation Equation that could be improved easily?
Establish Commitment [10 minutes]
If at all possible, commit verbally to your fellow cohort members to update them on the progress of your goal at each cohort meeting, and ask your cohort members to hold you accountable to this promise. If you don't think the cohort meeting is the appropriate venue, then commit to some other public check-in with friends inside or outside the Guild.
Premortem [30 minutes]
Go through your plan and collectively do a premortem for each other. What pitfalls do you see? Make concrete suggestions on how to preempt these issues.
Refinement [15 minutes]
Update your original goal with the feedback given. Implement the first step immediately, if possible.