Episode 24

#024 - PERMA-V: Achievement in 2021 and Beyond

Published on: 18th January, 2021

In today's episode we cover Achievement.

When most people think achievement, they immediately get into goal setting with SMART goals. At Wanna Grab Coffee? we really hate the idea of SMART goals and think there is a better way.

We talk about how the very act of setting goals is rooted in optimism - believing the future will be better than today, which can provide hope and motivation when we reach obstacles.

Effective goals require three things which we will provide a framework for more consistently defining and planning around:

  • The "Wish" - what is it you hope to achieve
  • The "Waypower" - have you defined a realistic way/path/plan
  • The "Willpower" - Energy and effort required to finish

Finally, we talk about the WOOP framework as a scientifically backed method of setting and achieving effective goals:

  • Wish - Define what you want
  • Outcome - Visualize and articulate the benefits of getting it
  • Obstacle - Think through obstacles and roadblocks that could stand in your way
  • Plan - Create a plan up-front to handle obstacles and overcome them

We hope you are getting value out of our series around flourishing in work and life, wellbeing, and productivity after a difficult 2020. If there is anything we can do to help you, feel free to reach out.

Thanks for joining us today and don't forget to hit the subscribe button or reach out at [email protected].


Robert Greiner 0:07

How's it going?

Charles Knight 0:08

Pretty good. Not much is going on. Still settling in to getting back to work after the break. But I know that all three of us probably during our break, we spent time thinking about goals for the new year. Actually I did. Robert, Igor y'all did too?


Robert Greiner 0:27

Yes, definitely.

Igor Geyfman 0:28


Charles Knight 0:29

Okay. Yeah, I figured that's all something that we would do

Robert Greiner 0:32

I bet we

did it differently, though. So hopefully that'll come out. Because I was gonna ask you anyway, Charles, when we talk on Friday, what your processing flow was here, because I'm pretty sure we approach it differently. And Igor, as well, maybe hopefully we can get into that today.

Charles Knight 0:46

I think so. I do want to share a little bit about what I've learned from an achievement standpoint. perma V, positive psychology, it's an acronym, each component is a important it's important to our well being. And a in perma v stands for achievement.

Robert Greiner 1:06

Yeah, why don't you as we're almost done with the series, why don't you just recap what the other ones are? And the in the acronym, the ones leading up to A achievement, we already have episodes on? actually check those out. But they're not prerequisites for the discussion today.

Igor Geyfman 1:22

They're not like in any particular order. You can listen to them out of order, I think or D. Should you listen? Yeah,

Robert Greiner 1:28

they're in an order to where the acronym you can say it like a word, I think, yeah, like, it's just, I wouldn't really think that there would prescribe any kind of order to it.

Charles Knight 1:38

No, but yeah, there's no order. The first one that we talked about was p for positive emotions. Right, it is just like how important feeling joy, gratitude, happiness is to our well being. E stands for engagement. And that's essentially getting into the flow state, with whatever work that we're doing, leveraging our character strengths R is for relationships. So the importance of relating to other people to our well being. M stands for meaning. And so we talked about core values, we talked about being fulfilled in life being part of something greater than oneself, and how, how that contributes to well being. So then there's m four meaning, which is when we talked about core values, and how we can use those to find something to be connected to that's greater than ourselves, because that can lead to fulfillment. And now we're here at A for achievement. And the the best way to summarize achievement is regularly setting and accomplishing goals. And I think it's very relevant here coming out of the new year for us to talk about goals. And, Robert, you're saying we all probably approach them very differently.

Robert Greiner 2:49

My favorite, this is my favorite of the six

Igor Geyfman 2:53

V, achievement edition edition.

Robert Greiner 2:55

achievement edition. Yeah, like that.

Charles Knight 2:58

wholeheartedly agree. I look forward to diving into that. But I wanted to start off with saying one thing. There's actually quite a lot of research out there, like scientific research out there about goals. And I've never really been exposed to that stuff. I have now as a result of positive psychology. But one thing I don't want to talk about with you all, are smart goals. that acronym smart, specific, measurable, actionable, I don't know, for some reason, I have a very negative reaction to that framing of goals. And so I don't plan on talking about that. If you want to learn about it. There's, gosh, there's so many resources out there to help you understand what SMART goals are, but I don't plan on talking about that.

Robert Greiner 3:43

Let me piggyback on that. I hate that term. And part of it is my classical management training has been from a really great podcast called manager tools. We've referenced it before. I know we've all talked about it. We're all fans. They talk about goal setting. And they say the same thing. SMART goals are dumb one, because there's a misconstruction of some of the terms, is it timely? Is it time bound? Is it measurable, or meaningful, those are all different things. And they're basically saying, if I'm talking to my boss, I can get out of trouble in a lot of different ways if I'm really focusing on the SMART goals. And so they would say, you really only care about that the M and the T, that measurable usually with a number, and then time constraints. So by a date, I will achieve X percent by October. And so I think that's a little bit more of a healthy thing. If you're interested in that I would, or any kind of SMART goal idea, I would just go ahead and say, Listen to the manager tools, MT goals, just Google that and it'll be the first result and we'll move on from that because I'm with you. I think that's a pretty terrible way to set goals. If you're at zero and you need somewhere to start like maybe it's okay maybe it's approachable, but that's not something that we really want to get into here.

Charles Knight 5:01

Thanks for that. I didn't realize that they had some good stuff there

Robert Greiner 5:04

They hate it as much as or more than you do. You're in great company, Charles, anytime you're in line with what manager tools recommends, like you're in a good spot, I think,

Charles Knight 5:14

yeah, I must be doing something right, then. I think it's worth discussing this question first, before I get into some of the specific interventions that positive psychology suggests, for goal setting. And it's really getting clear on why goals are important to our well being. Because that at first when I was thinking about achievement, setting, acomplishing goals, obviously, like it's good for my well being. But I don't know if it's obvious to everybody. It may be obvious to me because I have prioritized achievement in my life. Like on average, I probably prioritize that more so than the other aspects of PERMAV. And so I want to ask you all, is it obvious to you all why achievement regularly setting and accomplishing goals is important to our well being.

Igor Geyfman 6:02

To me, achievement is really important, because it gives you something to

out to get, the best way to put it, for me is look forward to, there's something satisfying about saying, I'm going to do this, and especially if it's something that's meaningful to me, or something that somebody says that I can't do especially, or something, maybe something about me in my mind that I'm doubting that I can do, and setting that in front of myself, and chipping away at it and getting there like, it feels good. But a lot of times, for me, just the journey there feels even better. It's hard to describe, it definitely feels good to reach your goal. But that feeling is very fleeting. But the feeling of like, progressive accomplishment, towards achieving that goal, I think sticks around with me much longer. And so to me, setting up these goals, working towards them, is the bulk of it, and then achieving it contributes a lot to my positive emotional state. And so for me, that's why it's important. And it's obviously important.

Robert Greiner 7:11

I definitely agree, I think for me to Charles, this specific way you ask the question, which is, is it obvious to you? Or could you explain it? For me, I'm really competitive. And so achievement is the kind of one area of perma V, where I would index to above others. And I don't know if that means I'm more in tune with it, or it's just how I'm wired or whatever. And there's certainly a downside to being too competitive, right? Used in the right situation, it can be great. There's lots of downside to that, which is also pretty obvious. For me though, as I start to unpack it, I really try to think about the idea of growth and progress and building competency and taking on responsibility that helps the other areas of life and Perma V. And so it's not so much achievement for achievement sake, although that's fine. And I think the book even talks about getting things done just to get things done. And that's a way to flourish. But it also unlocks a deeper current, which I think Igor was talking about, as well, where you can build mastery over something. And that can help you feed your family. And that can give you autonomy in life, you can derive passion, from achievement, and from building competency in an area. And so that that kind of thread of, there's more that achievement brings to your life than just getting stuff done is what interests me. But honestly, though, I'm in the more shallow phase of getting things done, achieving goals, setting what's next and moving forward is enough for me,

Charles Knight 8:42

I will share what I learned as I was researching this from a positive psychology standpoint, and it was a non intuitive framing for me. And what the literature says is that setting goals is important to our well being. Because goals give us hope that feels touchy feely, I think I was probably more like you, Robert, in terms of man, I just set the goals to accomplish them and win. Which is maybe has a connotation of like cold and calculated and at whatever costs sort of thing. But hope is very much like a touchy feely, do I? How did these give me hope it wasn't obvious at first, but then Igor I think you are getting at this goals are by definition, they are something that you set and tried to do and reach in the future. So there's a time component to these goals. And, by definition, if you're setting something and dealing with something in the future, you have hope that future is going to be there and that you're going to be able to accomplish it. That's part of the reason why there's advice around Hey, make sure that you don't set too lofty of a goal because if you set an unreasonable goal, then maybe, maybe you're not going to achieve it. There's going to be some sort of letdown there. But I found I really had to wrestle. I don't even know if I fully integrated what this whole goals give us hope thing. I don't know, I'm still trying to process it. But I did want to share that. And it is relevant for the intervention, though. And so before I get to the, how does this play into how we can hack the way we do goals to achieve more, and therefore increase our well being? Did y'all have any reactions to this idea of hope, and goal setting?

Robert Greiner:

I do have a positive reaction to it. I also don't understand it. But I am a perpetual serial optimist. And I do like the idea, maybe that's the way to say it, that setting goals really assumes it is an optimistic effort, and assumes that the future is better than the present. I don't know that you set a goal to gain an unhealthy 10 pounds, or to be able to run a mile a minute slower. The goals are always in pursuit of making something incrementally earn your point, substantially better. And so I think there is a level of optimism to it. And if you have, again, we talked about this last episode, you take something, you articulate it, you make it concrete, then you have something an objective, the top of the hill to look forward to. And that helps maybe galvanize your energy and effort over time. So I haven't really thought of it as an optimistic hope based exercise. But now that you said it, it's interesting. I could get on board with that I think I'm aligned with with what it says.

Igor Geyfman:

Yeah, I agree. I think that goals and hope are related.

Charles Knight:

Yeah. So when y'all think about goals? What is harder for you? Is that the setting of goals? Like the identifying and setting of goals? Or is it the accomplishment of goals? Is that even how you think about it? I'm curious, because for the longest time, for many years, I didn't really formally set goals. Like I didn't write them down, I didn't have a process. They definitely weren't SMART goals. And, and so I would say, and yet I regularly achieved goals. So I would say in that case, it was harder for me to set them write them out concretely, maybe. I'm curious that you all have, what's your tendency there, when it comes to setting and accomplishing goals?

Igor Geyfman:

I think of goals as outcomes, and so I don't get too particularly formal with it. And we had a discussion the other day about a essentialism. So I also tend not to have a lot of goals at the same time, I tend to have one goal, maybe two goals, and then have my actions being preceded that, and so I don't really have to, like formally write them down. It's just Hey, I want to get I don't know, my next promotion, let's say, and, as I'm making decisions, is this gonna help me achieve that, or it's not gonna help me achieve that. And for me, you know, I keep that up is pretty easy. Because I don't get to, I don't do too much. Sometimes I do ambitious. But I but I tend not to have a lot of small ones or a lot of ambitious ones, I tend to just have one or two medium or ambitious ones that I want to achieve. But usually within some sort of time horizon under a year.

Robert Greiner:

That's really interesting. Charles, I think you and I have more of an overlap on this, if I look back on my career, and sort of the professional behaviors that I've exhibited, it's just been ferocious activity, without really a lot of direction. And so I do think that the way the world is situated, if you are constantly progressing and learning and accomplishing things, you're gonna be successful, it's just then a matter of how long it takes. And so there's probably a more efficient path I could have taken in my career growth and that my talent stack, had I been more intentional. And we talked about that a lot in our firm, right, deliberate practice, setting very specific goals that and objectives that get you from a career progression standpoint, to the next level. I've been much, much less intentional about that. In my career, when you first start out, it's fairly obvious that you're working on something more tangible and concrete. And so I think, for me, it's just been a lot of activity. So I would set more tactical short term. I don't even know that you'd call them goals. They're just little projects. My career is just a collection of completed projects and a lot of activity with a competitive bent to it. And I think over time, especially now, as I'm planning and looking towards 2021, maybe over the past three years, we could say it's been a little bit more of a focus on the longer term goals objectives kind of idea. One is understanding what our firm needs, what our market needs, what our clients need, and trying to align my professional activity towards that. But really, it's been just activity after activity moving on, without as much direction as I probably need, or could stand to put in.

Charles Knight:

Yeah, I think it's worth pointing out that as much as people talk about goal setting, there's so many different ways to to do it. Like it's there's SMART goals, there's objectives, there's the essential intent, there's a short term tactical stuff, there's the winging it, right? It's, I think what positive psychology tries to do is they try to distill down all of those kind of loaded terms. And it really boils down to it's Hey, what do you hope to accomplish? in the future? Let's start there. Let's take a different angle to it instead of using the goal language and stuff like that. So what do you wish to accomplish in any domain of life? And I think my intuition is that if I were to approach goal setting like this, because I don't I there's something I recently learned, and I have my upset my ways in terms of goal setting, I wonder if I would get different results. And because they see goal setting as a mechanism to increase hope. They don't talk about goals, they talk about, What do you wish to accomplish? Because it's achievement. And actually, sometimes when you hear perma V, they swap out accomplishment for achievement. And so it really starts there. And then they talk about some other things. So that's a wish, right? That's, instead of a goal. They say, What do you wish? And then now let's get down to the science, right? It's let's say you have this goal or this wish. Now, what are the things that we need to think about, they have two things, to accomplish things to achieve things, you need a wish. But you also need way power, they call it way power. But you need a way of actually attaining that wish.

Robert Greiner:

So if I wish to be an astronaut and go to the moon,

I don't have the way power to make that happen. I don't have the way power to play in the NHL. But I have the way power to get on one of those cool planes, maybe that dives and makes you feel like you're in zero G and I can play in a beer league a hockey beer league. And so is that is the way power, a way to help right size and make sure you're not doing what we just talked about, which is being too lofty with your goals or wishes, or what do I get? Do I have that? Right?

Charles Knight:

Yeah. So it's certainly. I think it checks the feasibility of the wish. Yeah, I can't play in the NBA because I'm 510. And that doesn't work. And I haven't been playing basketball. And so if you can't see a way to accomplish that goal, you should revise the goal. Right. The other thing, though, that it does is it makes you to think about multiple ways of accomplishing the goal. So let's say it is feasible, I'd like you can get promoted right in in the next year. What are the different ways that you could do that, it's might be able to knock it out of the park as it relates to the work I'm doing with a client. Or maybe I'll knock it out of the park as it relates to something internal, that doesn't have anything to do with the client work. Maybe it's something that I can do for corporate or our particular office, there are multiple ways of accomplishing it. Because I think one thing that they tried to get people to think about when you're doing goal settings, that positive psychology way is that you will encounter obstacles. And when you're setting a goal now, it might be obvious what the correct way to accomplish that is, but that way may not be accessible anymore in a month, in two months. And so if you plan now to come up with what are different ways to accomplish it, when you hit that road block, you can say okay, let me take a step back. And let me see where I can pivot, because I know that there's more than one way to accomplish this goal. And it lets you course correct as you go, which I think is brilliant, because so many times people set new year's resolutions, and they go to the gym. Igor, like you said before for January for four or five weeks, and then after, by the time Valentine's Day rolls around, they don't go to the gym anymore. So I think multiple ways of accomplishing the goal is important to identify when you're setting the goal. And I think this is related to the other aspects that they talked about, which is you need a wish or a goal, need a way power, but you also need willpower. And it's like the actual will to do it. You can say you wish something but if you're not willing to commit to it and to persevere, then you should reevaluate the goal.

Robert Greiner:

So this makes sense. The goal is the destination. The way power is the path or multiple routes. If you're thinking GPS or something to the destination, that willpower is pedaling the bicycle across one of those routes, ultimately, at some point to reach that achievable destination,

Charles Knight:

All three things are required. In order to achieve what you want, you have to have an idea of what you're trying to accomplish, you know, the goal or the wish, you need to see a way forward, and you need the willpower to do the work.

Robert Greiner:

And if you don't have those three, you have to keep digging. Or if you can't find the way, or maybe you don't have the willpower, there's lots of things that are eminently achievable, that we talked about before, what do you want? How bad do you want it? I

think that's Igor you had a boss or a mentor that talk to you about that before. He is might not have the willpower either. That's when either if you don't if they're undefined, you have to keep digging. And if you define something, and it doesn't make sense, that is that when you change the goal?

Igor Geyfman:

And then the third question is, what are you willing to do to get it? So what do you want? How bad do you want it? And what are you willing to do to get it. And sometimes people don't define what they're willing to do to get it. Or sometimes they don't think it through. And they don't put effort into it. And it's unsurprising that the gyms are empty by Valentine's Day,

Robert Greiner:

this is great. We just talked about first principles, what ego or what your mentor talked about what your manager talked about there. And Charles, what you've just outlined are two different ways to get at the same thing. And it's all rooted in this truth that really makes sense. It's like you have those three things are core, it doesn't matter how you think about them, you have to have the goal, you have to have the way the path, you have to have the will to actually pound the pavement and get it done. So it's cool to see how scientifically backed to research and how that was presented meshes almost perfectly with specific career advice, or that you got within your life. And I think as I'm talking about this, it just it makes sense. It seems to feel true.

Maybe the quantify ability of it, you sit two people down, and you ask those three questions. And the answer to the first question from the first person is, and this was a common answer when we're using it with people. And they would just say, I really want to make an extra $500 a month, I think it would improve the quality of life for my family. And let me do some things that I'm not able to do today. It's really important for me, and then another person would sit down and answering that question, say I want to be rich, and the way that both the those two things are framed. One is highly specific, and one is nonspecific, but it's aspirational. And I think the person who says I want to make an extra $500 a month is going to be much more likely to achieve that. And somebody who says, Yeah, I want to be rich. And maybe for the person that says that I want to be rich, maybe $500 a month is their threshold, but then defined it.

That reminds me, I think it was Gary Vaynerchuk we'll give him credit. He was talking to someone in one of those sort of master classes. And it was the exact same thing. The guy in the class said, I want to be a billionaire. I was like, oh, cool, hey, that's a goal. Why? Like, why do you want to be a billionaire, let's dig into that. It's like, Oh, I want a private island. And I want my own jet. And I want all these things. And he said, really, like you can rent Richard Branson's island for $100,000, or whatever it is. And you can use this app. And any jet or helicopter with a pilot is at your disposal. And then you can do this. And you can do that, and distill all the things you said you wanted. And you really just need 200 grand, and you get all of your dreams that you said you had come true, you don't need a billion dollars. That's the way power right? It's much, much easier to go make 100,000 or $200,000 than a billion, obviously. And that could change completely. How you conduct yourself how you live your life, the goals that you're setting, it makes room for other stuff.

Charles Knight:

Yeah. And I've actually got an exercise that positive psychology recommends, that hits at the at least two of the three components that are required for accomplishing goals, the weight, power and the willpower. So before I get there, though, I want to say, Igor, I don't like your boss's career advice. The whole Oh, hey, what are you doing? Or what are you willing to do to get it? I think that was the last part, right? That that touches on willpower. I don't disagree with it. And I've often told myself that it's Look, I just have to grin and bear it. Right. I got to have to push through. But I think it. What it does, though, is it has this feeling of sacrifice. So I have to sacrifice. Like I have to make concessions. And I don't in some cases, that's probably true, but not in all cases. And I think in to tie back to what we're talking about here. I think oftentimes, when we were down, like when we're trying to accomplish a goal, at which point that advice might be, hey, how much do you really want it? Just keep going at it. Even though we're we're up against a brick wall, we'll keep pushing until we knocked down the frickin wall, when in actuality, maybe just taking a different way, right asking for help to say, Hey, what's a different way to accomplish what I want. So I can just rent an island instead of having to get a billion dollars to buy my own to me that need or if you find yourself really straining to accomplish a goal, it's worth saying, Is there another way that that has that way power, as opposed to just discarding the goal, because you think it's unfeasible and opposed to just pushing through until you get there? Because there might be an easier way. And oftentimes you can't see it, which is why I'm a big fan of sharing goals, sharing goals with your peers, with your mentor, with your spouse or partner, right, because they can help you with the way power piece when oftentimes we're mired in the heavy lifting,

Robert Greiner:

I went from violent disagreement with you to full agreement with you. As you were talking,

Igor Geyfman:

I went from violent disagreement to understanding your point of view.

Robert Greiner:

Yeah, I think and maybe if I could free frame because we talked about this with our new managers that come in and first instinct when there's a hiccup in the project or new scope comes in. We've all seen this, you just burn them hot, we outwork the problem. And outworking The problem is wonderful. When it makes sense. Sometimes you might not have a choice, there is a thing that we recommend to our up and coming leaders, which is explore negotiating scope, explore these other areas, you can outwork the problem, but don't default to that. And I do think, at least me personally, I don't really ever take a step back and think, is there another way to get this thing that I want? Is this thing that I think I want really what I want? Or do I want something else? Or am I trying to please someone that I don't even care about? All of those questions and exploratory efforts of finding a different path are really useful. Even if you eventually get down to it I have to push through this and work harder. It's I think, Charles, if I could, if I'm understanding your objection, it's that the re exploration redefinition was not part of that discussion.

Charles Knight:

Yeah, I think that's right. Yeah.

Robert Greiner:

Then I'm back to violent agreement with you. Like usually.

Igor Geyfman:

What I'm trying to remember, we had a discussion about values at one point. And I don't remember if all three of us had hard work, as are one of our top five values. I know two of us at least had because maybe it was me and Robert. And maybe

Charles Knight:

like core values, or character strengths?

Igor Geyfman:

core values, not character strings.

Charles Knight:

No, I don't have a

Robert Greiner:

hard work was

in mine, if I remember.

Igor Geyfman:

And maybe

that was the reason for me and Robert, initial violent disagreement. Because if hard work is a core value for you, then grit and perseverance and suffering, and pushing through it has its own virtue.

Charles Knight:

Yeah, yeah.

Igor Geyfman:

And I still believe that, I

Robert Greiner:

Meeting one's commitments, sometimes, if you promise something, even in a professional setting, if you say, Tell your kid, you're gonna be at the soccer game, that at some point, it becomes in the sort of an ethics thing in my mind as well. And so part of it is that professional will or something like that,

Igor Geyfman:

That I would never discount. If somebody said, hey, there's an easier way to do this, or there's another approach here, I would never be like, I don't want to listen to you, I'd rather work harder. That doesn't make sense to me. If there's a there's a more efficient approach to doing something, I'd love to hear about it. And it's very likely that I didn't consider something.

Robert Greiner:

Let me give you a dumb example about that, though. So I emailed someone I respect, ask them how to read faster, they're very fast at reading, they read a lot of books. And so I was asking for advice. And one of the pieces of advice given was a really fast way to dramatically increase how many words you read over a period of time is to delete the book, if it's not worth it, shut it, close it move on. There are some completionist out there, that would have a really hard time doing that. And so sometimes you may not want that alternative path.

Charles Knight:

Yeah, that's so true. I love where y'all took this. This makes sense. And let me go and introduce the intervention here. Because I think what we're talking about relates, there's an acronym, just like perma V, there's another acronym, and it's, woop. It's a funny name, w o o p. And this is a scientifically validated framework to accomplish goals. Right? So that it's not obvious to people who are not in kind of the scientific realm. That means this is like legitimately proven to help people accomplish goals and increase their well being. So it's very effective. So w stands for wish. So this is just the what we talked about already. It's like what do you want to accomplish? What's your goal? And maybe it's a my wishes to get promoted this year. That's perfectly fine. The first O is outcome. Okay, you set this goal objective wish, what ever you want to call it, I want to get promoted. What is the best possible results that you can imagine? When you accomplish this goal? Or when your wishes granted? Imagine yourself, transport into the future Igor, I know you do this with certain activities, like let's transport into the future in time, you've accomplished that goal, you're promoted? What is the best result from that? I'll feel proud of myself. I'll be happy. Yeah, validation, like, I will feel relief, right? Maybe there was a relief, like, it gets you to think and put yourself into the future, and articulate what is the outcome. And that that outcome piece right there. That is what you go back to if you lack willpower, because let's say you have to break through the wall, there is no other way around, then what you do is you don't give up, you tap back in to what you believed was the best possible outcome for you when you achieved it. So it really motivates you to gain more energy and willpower to continue to push through. So that's how, whoop, at least this part of it addresses the willpower piece. The next O, is obstacle. So this ties two way power. Right? And the question is, what is the main obstacle inside of you? Not outside, right, but inside of you, that might prevent you from accomplishing your wish. And it could be something like I procrastinate on the important things, you know, and that results in me focusing on the urgent and not the important, those things that are really critical to me getting promoted. And the next thing P is plan. Okay? What are effective actions that you can take to address the obstacle, like knowing now in advance that you are going to procrastinate on the most important things that are key to you getting promoted? What's your plan, you realize you've been procrastinating, you need to work on this particular deliverable or this project? What are you going to do in right that moment. So they're having you come up with a plan for when that obstacle happens, not if it assumes it's going to happen. They just want you to write down, when I procrastinate, I'm going to open up my calendar, I'm going to put a two hour block of time on the next week. And I'm going to keep that time sacred. And that time is going to be used to make progress on the project. So woop, wish, outcome, obstacle and plan,

Igor Geyfman:

That detail of the obstacle being something internal is so key. And I think it really makes this intervention, very empowering. Because there's so many externalities, there's so many obstacles that are coming from the outside, a lot of times they can't be foreseen. A lot of times they can't be planned for. A lot of times, they can't really be overcome in an efficient way, when you come upon them. But internal obstacles, you have agency for planning, and for addressing them. And it may be hard may be really hard, maybe harder to address that than any external obstacle. But you have agency over it in a way that you don't. And I think that little distinction, really powerful, Charles agree.

Charles Knight:

Yeah, thanks for calling that out.

Robert Greiner:

That is really good. I

can remember in college, when I wouldn't want to do my homework or large projects, I would just go to the library. That was my thing. And I'll just sit there and I'm like, I'm not going home until I get this thing done. And just the boredom and didn't want to be there gave me the little bit of nudge, I needed to get something done. And I think that's if you need that protocol, though, before you experienced that resistance, otherwise, you're just going to fold on it.

Igor Geyfman:

I did the exact same. Like literally, it would be the library because it's so boring. Like I couldn't do that Starbucks. And then my effort was not discretionary.

Charles Knight:

I wanted to say thanks for this discussion,

I think I'm going to try to integrate this into my goal setting throughout the year as I set new goals. And I would encourage our listeners to take a goal that you've already set and run it through this framework and identify, think about the outcome, right, the best possible results of accomplishing your goal, what's the main internal obstacle and then what's the plan that you can execute when you meet that obstacle? That might be a good exercise for our listeners.

Robert Greiner:

I think that's really helpful. And maybe what we could do is do the exercise on one of ours for the year and then have a little check in maybe in a few episodes and see how effective it is for us how useful it is for us.

Charles Knight:

Absolutely. Sounds great.

Igor Geyfman:

And thanks for sharing. I am definitely going to use it Charles.

Robert Greiner:

This is an ad hoc one we weren't supposed to record today. I'm glad we could have some time together and grab some virtual coffee.

And I'll see y'all tomorrow.

Igor Geyfman:

Thanks, everyone. Thanks, Charles.

Charles Knight:

Always a pleasure

Robert Greiner:

Yeah. That's it for today. Thanks for joining and don't forget to follow us on Twitter @Wannagrabcoffee or drop us a line at [email protected]

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About the Podcast

Wanna Grab Coffee?
Join us for weekly discussions about careers, leadership, and balancing work and life.
A podcast about all of the topics we discuss during our mid-day coffee breaks. We bring you stories, thoughts, and ideas around life as a professional, leadership concepts, and work/life balance. We view career and leadership development as a practice that spans decades and we are excited to go on this journey with you.