I have so many goals I want to achieve, that hardly any of them ever get started. Hopefully, you guys and dolls can share in this (at least a little). Every day at least one new idea pops into my head. Anything from new project ideas, stories, business plans, or just general ‘make my life better’ ideas. Any one of these usually has a mountain of smaller tasks, attached to it making the mountain so much higher than it needs to be. Many times, it’s just totally un-climbable.
Take for example, working out to get that ‘healthy’ body most of us artists don’t have. How do you even start that? Eat better? Work out? Schedule the time to make all those ‘healthy’ meals? Cardio? What kind of cardio? How much? How much will all of this cost, financially and time-wise?
The main problem I started to notice with this kind of thought was that I was focusing on the entire story, when what I should have been focusing on were the chapters. Once you know what you want to write, zooming in on the details, and making sure those all add up, makes stepping back and seeing the finished story happen. A lot of us rush this step, but the details are what make up this little story or book we see in our heads.
How can we use the three acts of storytelling to set goals? If you’re not familiar with the three acts, they basically break down to this:
“The three-act structure is a model used in writing and in evaluating modern storytelling that divides a fictional narrative into three parts, often called the Setup, the Confrontation and the Resolution.”
I’ve included a note card for my personal project, ‘GUILDBORN‘ below. How all of this works is actually quite simple. Grab a note card, or a small piece of paper (the smaller the better, as it takes away our ability to elaborate). The first thing you write down is what the root of your goal is. Place it in the middle of the notecard. As you can see with mine, it’s ‘Create GUILDBORN’. That’s the mountain. That’s our story. Next, write all the important things you can think of right now that are the ‘Setup’ or our ‘Struggle’ with getting this to actually happen, above our goal. A few things I added were ‘Research (covering many different avenue’s), marketing, and most importantly, actually making the damn thing. Finally, the ‘Resolution’. From our struggles and pain, come the pleasures. In many cases this is what we were really after the entire time. Write this below our goal. You can see some quick notes I put down include publishing, conventions and essentially trying to point eyes at it, so people can enjoy the book.
All stories we read, that most of us remember and enjoy, include either a PRO-active hero, or a PRO-active villain. That’s what we need to remember. YOU and I NEED to be the PRO-active hero (or villain ha ha ha) of our goals. No one really cares about those whose stories are in-active. All of the struggles, no matter how hard or simple will make us PRO-active. We need to chase the goals down. Don’t let your goal be pro-active, that makes you in-active.
The fact that these gigantic mountains that we want to climb are created by each of us, and our imaginations is empowering. Sure, we might not ever get to the top of our mental mountains, but by working out your goals like a story, it makes it crystal clear as to what motions, steps and preparations you might need to take, to being your journey.
Finally, I’ll leave you with one of my favorite quotes from Arnold Schwarzenegger, and a video I highly recommend watching daily, if possible:
“You can’t climb the ladder of success, with your hands in your pockets.”