Not all action is appropriate under all circumstances, and not all outcomes are wanted in all contexts. When you set a goal, be aware of how the expected change might fit, or conflict with, a specific time, person, place or activity. Sometimes, the behavior we’re about to change may be more appropriate in some contexts than the desired behavior.
Goal-setting needs to fit the CONTEXT
The pros and cons of goals should be considered carefully. Test your goal by applying it to various contexts, and don’t hesitate to readjust your plan until all the variables have been considered and you’re confident it’s the right thing to do—ask yourself the following questions:
- Define the context within which the outcome is appropriate.
- Specifically when, where, and with whom would you like to have this outcome?
- Define the context within which the outcome would not be appropriate.
- Could there be any negative results to resolving your issue, either for yourself or for others who are important to you?
According to NLP life coaching, if you state your outcome in the form of an “absolute” or “universal quantifier” (all, always, everyone, everyday), you imply that the outcome is wanted in all contexts and under all circumstances.
Goal-setting for WRITERS
Take care to never willy-nilly substitute one habit for another, or to eliminate certain responses or behavior in every respect. Rather, always strive to increase your choices to create a wide variety of problem-solving and personal development options.
- Do you think it’s realistic to get up an hour earlier every morning for the rest of your life to increase your creative writing output?
- Do you think it’s wise to query every agent under the sun for as long as it takes to get an acceptance of your manuscript?
- Do you think it’s fair to your family to give up your day job to become a full-time writer without first discussing it with them?
- Do you think it’s a good idea to completely ignore the importance of building a social media platform in advance of your book’s publication date?
Goal-setting is also a LITERARY concept
Not only do goals motivate WRITERS to be productive and creative but they inspire the actions of STORY CHARACTERS too—on the flip side, however, their actions may lead to the breakdown of their goals.
I suggest you look at the value of context in creative writing as it pertains to character development through a study of Lionel’s Shriver’s novel: So Much For That. You might want to refer to the introduction as well as #1, #2, #3, #4 and #5 of this series for a recap of the book description before continuing with this part of the discussion.
When Glynis questions Shep’s reason for “getting on a plane to fly to an island you’ve never been to, where you’ll spend the rest of your life,” what do you surmise from his rationale for choosing Pemba as an ideal destination for ‘The Afterlife?’ He says, “I picked Pemba precisely because we haven’t been there. That means you can’t have already come up with a zillion reasons why yet another option is off the table.” Do you think his plan for an early retirement is appropriate irrespective of the timing, or destination, or his wife’s approval?
Thank you for following my blog to learn more about CREATIVE WRITING as well as the dynamics of BEHAVIOR CHANGE and CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT and how to implement these concepts in storytelling. Please watch out for the publication of my creative writing guide (title and publication date TBA soon), which will offer a more comprehensive discussion on Story and Character Development based on a Life Coaching Model.