Climbing The Mountain

JKLTip Know the phase of goal attainment you are working on and how it impacts your actions
Learning Goal Map, Mountain, Diagram, Goals

This learning goal map shows the steps we take to achieve any learning goal. Achieving learning goals is kind of like climbing a big mountain. Sometimes we feel like we are flying up, other times we need to take a step back.

Sometimes we might need a break. In extreme cases maybe we fall or give up. Either way, we face ups and downs when climbing the mountain toward our goals. Knowing where you are on the learning goal map will help you understand what to do next.

You Are Here

No matter the future success, everyone started at the same spot. Prized fighters or high paid lawyers all started at the beginning. For the sake of our diagram, it is labeled “you are here”. When we start a new, brave goal we start at the bottom. At this point, it looks like one pretty tall task. 


I used to think that goals were overrated. In a way I still do. What I agree with is that we must have a “plan A”. We must know in what ways do we want to improve ourselves? If you know that you have a goal to be more creative, why hesitate? Know what the overall goals are and why you want them. 


When we first test out new things, we should expect a lot of internal conflicts. There is no way that it will feel easy. We will feel a little bit silly trying something new and debate whether or not we really want to do this. The key here is to get an idea as to whether or not we can see ourselves enjoying this down the road. If you have two or three ideas of something to learn it may be worth quickly testing each of them. 


This is a fun stage. By now we are feeling strongly that we want to take on the challenge. In a way, it becomes a step back because it’s time for more research. After you have decided to go for it you will need to spend some time exploring others who have learned before you. You will likely do some research about the best methods and hacks to learn. This will allow you to make smarter decisions, but be careful not to get stuck on this stage.


This is where the goal can get more specific. If we know this is the route we are going to go, then we need to look at all of the research, formal, or informal. It is crucial to have an aiming point, as high as possible. This may not be the final destination, but it gives us something to shoot for. So what would that ideal, big dream goal look like if you could reach it? 


Other goals were “big dream, shoot for the moon” types. This is where we set our sites on the specific steps to get to those big dreams. Your big goals should never be realistic, or safe. These targets on the other hand are more like “SMART” goals. These are specific next steps. Break them down to the most important five things and do them one at a time, until they are all done. Then ask, what’s the next target? 


In the commitment stage, we start putting in the work to make all of our planning become a reality. This is execution at full speed as possible. Things are still pretty exciting because they are relatively new. We slowly start to find more ways to focus on our goals. We wake up excited to climb as high as possible each day. 


There are so many distractions in life. We could watch a movie, listen to music, or play video games. We can socialize with friends, or spend too much time on social media. It would be easy to go around engaging in the next shiny thing. But, if we want the big dreams we have to avoid and confront distractions. 


It’s normal to have some project fatigue because even if we love learning, big projects will bring us down sometimes. In sports, we are often injured and endure. In learning and in business, it’s about feeling like we’ll never figure it out. Regroup by looking at the plan, taking a walk, and making adjustments. 


At first, we are really figuring out what path to take. There is a lot of testing up to this point. Testing different versions of learning goals. We can be testing different ways to learn. Testing different aspects of the skill, or knowledge you are interested in. Once you realize what seems to be working, it’s time to double down. This is where we build systems and habits that allow us to work on our crazy ideas as much as possible. 


The “top of the mountain”. Where you get to see all the hard work pay off. There is no timeline. This could be the moment you find yourself in front of a sold-out crowd for the first time. It could also be when you learn to play your first song, alone at home. It all depends on what the goals and targets were. 

Regardless of how strong your manifestation abilities, it is impossible to predict how long each of these stages will last. It’s about setting new goals or changing the aiming point altogether. Do you get feedback and continue on? Or do you go back to the bottom of the mountain and start something new? Where are you on the learning goal map?

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** Read Why Just Keep Learning: JKL Post


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