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10 Ideas on the GAP Framework

Goal, Aspiration, Process (GAP). Credit is due to John Sonmez for introducing me to this concept. There are other, near opposite uses of the letter "GAP" acronym in productivity circles ("The Gap and the Gain" by Dr. Benjamin Hardy, although his use of the word is just gap (not an acronym): the difference between where you are and where you want to be. Hardy recommends focusing on the Gain, and avoiding living in the gap.)

Other concepts were taken from

Having an intention is an important step: it is the decision.

10 Ideas on the GAP Framework

    1. An aspiration is a long-term life-changing desire

    This is based in imagination and feelings. What would be cool? Losing 50 lbs? Financial independence? Having an action figure collection?

    2. An Intention is a decision to create the goals that will fulfill your aspirations

    Convince yourself that your aspiration is possible. It does not even need to be possible by "you," just by somebody. "An intention is the firm mental decision to do the thing."

    3. A goal is an action step that is under your direct control in pursuit of the aspiration.

    Being under your control is important: making 10 YouTube videos is under your control, but getting 1,000 followers is not. This goal should include the feeling from your aspiration: it should be a path to completion.

    4. A process is a system that will help you reach your goals.

    This can bean always having your workout clothes clean and folded over a chair so that you can reach your goal of exercising every day.

    5. What do you Aspire to? Put some thought into this. What will the experience be like?

    6. What Goal can you create under your direct control that will help you get to your aspiration?

    Eat one meal a day, walk 2 miles a day, put $100 a week into a 401k, etc.

    7. Make a daily or weekly Process that will help you reach your goal

    Use a system.

    8. Try one goal at a time.

    Working on many goals at once dilutes your effort and makes it harder to complete things.

    9. Be as specific as possible

    I have had a poorly written goal of "finish the guitar wiring" for 6 months. This is not specific enough for me to take action. This is something that will take me less than 2 hours but I have not started yet because my goal is not specific enough (or terribly urgent). I will have to rewrite it in steps and processes like setting up the workspace, take out the solder, wire this to that, etc.

    10. An aspiration without a goal remains a dream forever. A goal without an aspiration is not driven by a deep need or feeling.

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