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Good Excuse Goals (TM) is an event-based form of structured procrastination and also mitigates perfectionism. The premise is to set something in motion that:

1. involves other people
2. leads to a time-stamped event and
3. means something to you

The old way of date-based goal setting says set a final due date and work towards completing the task at hand before that date. The problem with this form of goal setting is that if you miss the deadline, there is no accountability. You can keep procrastinating and pushing the date backward to whenever you feel like doing what you need to do.

Event-based goal setting says create a good excuse to complete the goal on time by creating an event (celebration, presentation, etc) that involves other people. For some reason, we're comfortable disappointing ourselves. That's why so many new year's resolution go undone. But we hate disappointing other people, so event-based goal setting uses our desire to impress others to motivate us.

Student Example:

It's the first day of the semester and you already have a term paper due in 4 weeks. Date-based goal setting says mark your calendar with the dates you want your first, second, and final draft to be done and that's it. Event-based goal setting says on the second day of the semester, schedule two meetings with your professor TA; one to review the first draft and one to review the second draft. By establishing the meetings, you now have another person holding you accountable to your goals and are less likely to procrastinate. By mid-semester, you'll have 90% of the paper done already.

Artist Example:

Say for instance you're a musician who wants to release an album by a certain date. Instead of just secretly writing the date on a calendar, good excuse goal setting says book a venue for a listening party or live performance a week or two before you want to actual CD to be done and send invitations to 30 friends and fans anticipating that 5-10 of them will come. Now you have to get ready and that forces (in a good way) you to create the music you want to make. By creating the event, you've set something in motion and create a good excuse to complete the CD.

It could be something you need to start, stop, or go harder on
It could be a relationship with an organization or person that you need to end (ie board seat, job, volunteer, etc)
Or one you need to begin (mentor, leadership role, ToastMasters, your own company, etc)
It may be something you need to invest in (an instrument software, a class, training, lessons, video cam)
Or something that you need to stop invest in

More ideas

Good Excuse
Want to write a book
Create a reading for you 1st chapter with 4 friends
Want a new job
Schedule a "board meeting" with mentors and friends and get feedback on your 2-weeks notice letter and job search plan.
Want to lose 10 lbs
Buy the dress you want to fit in and organize a dinner party at your house where you will wear the dress
Want to travel somewhereBuy your plane ticket with a few friends
Want to go to graduate school
Register for the entrance exam (GMAT, MCAT, LSAT) and organize your first study group with friends
Want to quit your job
Have a friend organize a secret "I Quit My Job" party for you after a certain date that you declare to quit by
Want to run a marathon
Pay for your registration, join a training group, and organize a celebration among friends that evening or at the finish line
Want to release a music CD
Organize a listening party among friends. Perhaps some of them are musicians too and may want to debut their music as well.
Want to lead a workshop
Invite 5 friends over for a trial version of the workshop. This will force you to get the curriculum ready.
Want to blog
Organize a blog launch party and email to go out on a certain date to everyone you know. You can create the html email now and schedule it to go out 30 days from now. This is irreversible which forces you to get ready.
Want to start a business
Enter a business plan competition with a team of people. You'll end up with a business plan and a whole new awareness about your business from the experience.
Want to move cities
By your one way plane ticket and schedule the movers to come.

Jullien's Purpose Statement

My purpose is to help as many people as possible reach their full potential by helping them making a living doing what they love and in the process of doing so achieve my own. I want to do this through writing, speaking, and creating offline and online spaces that facilitate conversations around purpose.

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