I really like the idea of looking for the positive side effects of your goal, and trying to make them happen. It really brings the big goal down to a more realistic level, and makes it seem less impossible. And even if you don't happen to reach the overall goal, you've at least made some great smaller and still very meaningful things happen.
I also sometimes think it's useful when you get stuck on the way to a goal, to look at what some of the negative side effects you might be afraid of. For example, if I , myself, were intending to become a millionaire, I would not want to spend more money on impulse buys, or give more money to a government I believed was spending my tax dollars on making the world a worse place. So I would need to find ways to see myself as a millionaire without having those bad side effects, before I would be really motivated to make any progress on my goal. (Personally, I'm still not sure how to envision a millionaire scenario that would work for me, but I'm thinking that it has something to do with creating a non-profit organization where most of my millions of dollars would live, safely away from turning into lame things...)
So yeah, it works even better when you have a very clear vision of what you want your life to be like, rather than just a broad, fuzzy vision.
Now that you mention the whole weight example, I have to say that I realized a long time ago that my periodic goals of losing x-number of pounds were always failures. I was lucky to stumble on something like your idea of looking for the positive "side effects" of the goal. I realized that I ultimately didn't care about what the scale said, but it was important for me to put good food into my body and use my body in fun and productive ways, and not to have to obsess with my body and what I did or didn't do with it. I wanted to make being healthy a normal part of my life, so that I wouldn't have to worry about trying to "exercise" or "count" calories, fats, and sugars. So I moved away from the train station, started commuting more frequently by human power (bike and foot), got lots of human powered appliances/tools, got rid of many of the appliances/tools that only required me to push a button to make things happen (like the clothes dryer and food processor), started to hang out with other people who move a lot just for fun (a bike chopper gang!), got lots of recipe books for raw foods, and started shopping at farmers markets more often. So those side effects were really where the good stuff was for me!
Peace, Love, and Bicycles,
Last edited by The Wise Turtle; 01-09-2007 at 09:02 PM.