The Heart of Every Quest Is A Goal

If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.

Jim Rohn

At the core of every quest is an ultimate goal.  Goals are our ambitions and dreams. When we set a goal, (Latham & Locke, 2002), whether it’s achieving a skill level in sports, getting a certain test score, or accumulating wealth, it helps us know what we’re striving for in life. Psychologists have found that goal-setting exercises are most effective when the end goal is specific and measurable (Latham, Winter.& Locke, 1994, Latham and Locke, 2002).  Locke introduced the most recognized Goal Setting Theory, which focused on goal setting in the workplace, has been tested and supported by hundreds of studies involving thousands of participants (Locke and Latham, 2019),  and laid the foundation for modern goal-setting techniques that many people use today.

Pre-flight Quest Checklist

Achievable Yet Big Enough Targets

Are you better off when you set quests that are very easily within reach?  Does doing so guarantee success? Scientists like Locke who study goal attainment discovered that motivation is the key to achieving our goals, and we actually feel more motivated when we are not 100% sure we can achieve the goal we set for ourselves.  

Steve Garvey, former Major League Baseball first baseman, said “You have to set goals that are almost out of reach. If you set a goal that is attainable without much work or thought, you are stuck with something below your true talent and potential.”

Setting big, complex goals is a powerful way to ensure you always keep your goals in sight and attain them. Taking on challenges is extremely exciting and motivating because it allows us to hone our skills, stretch our problem-solving muscles, and gain a deeper sense of personal accomplishment.

Reality Check

Review your plan and honestly assess whether you have the ability, or can gain the necessary skills, to achieve your quest. Take into account any limitations you may have during this time.

For instance, Rob wants to make the varsity basketball team this year.  That’s his quest, and the helpful action he selected is to practice shooting hoops for an hour every day for 90 days. But his family is leaving for a two-week-long vacation in a tiny sailboat tomorrow, which dooms his quest.  A wiser quest plan would be to either start after his vacation or other practices that he can still keep up during his family vacation.

Consistency is key.  Tailor your helpful action(s) for your quests to what works for you! This sets you up with a reasonable expectation of the time it will take you to successfully complete each quest. Adjust your timeline as necessary to move past challenges along your journey, but always have the big picture, with your ultimate success, in mind.

Do or Die

How many times have you put off what needed to be done until right before the deadline? Do you suspect you might be more productive with the urgency of a do-or-die deadline? Distractions and the human nature to procrastinate are inevitable, so you need to keep your eyes on the prize.

Quest Depot presents you with pre-screened quests and helpful actions that are likely to yield the best results.  You may set deadlines for your quests to be between 21 to 90 days from your starting day. 

We live in an age of instant gratification, and everyone wants everything done yesterday.  But if you set your quest deadline to be too soon, you’ll be frustrated and discouraged. We suggest your start date be today up to two weeks away.  If you set your start date too far into the future, you might procrastinate, or you may not start at all.

If your starting with an ultimate life goal in mind, and have given yourself 10 years to achieve some large goals, divide that time frame into increments to achieve smaller goals that will lead up to your large goal. The next step is to set a one-year plan, a six-month plan, and a one-month plan. Decide what you’ll achieve in these time frames.

For example, Barbara can set the tasks it takes to complete her manuscript within reasonable time frames for her. Perhaps she would give herself a month to plan out her novel and then a month to write each chapter. When her initial writing is finished, she might give herself 3 months to revise it (including the time she must leave the work alone so she can return to it with fresh eyes), and another six months to find a publisher.

Goal setting is one of the best ways to get ahead in life – but only if you’re setting your goals effectively!

Lewis Carroll
Caitlyn Wang

Caitlyn Wang

Caitlyn Wang is a global business leader who has, for more than 20 years, led marketing and product development teams in China, Taiwan, and the US to bring products from concept to market for companies like Harman, Acer, and Amazon. At Johns Hopkins University, Caitlyn’s work with gifted and neurodivergent children gave her an intimate look at how these challenges affect families and their wellness, but it’s her first-hand struggles parenting a mod-to-severe autistic child that motivated her to seek a root-cause solution for families like hers. She believes empowering children with the right EQ skill set is an investment in how society can create a generational shift in mindset and behavior. “We are changing the world, one child at a time,” says Caitlyn.


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