So we've set the goals...

Here's our New Year gift to friends & readers. 

Not just an article but a quest training!

You don't have to submit it if you don't want to share your results.

But we suggest that you should fill it out as during this work you fill your 2019 with a kind of fuel you have probably never flown before!

As a matter of fact, we've all set our goals (hopefully), but what are they going to turn into in a month? This depends on the way we think about them.

The questionnaire is meant to adjust your mind and emotions so that the goal simply has no way out.

You do not have to keep reading, just switch to the quest training itself if you need no additional guide.


If you are used to thinking Т.О.Т.Е., you will find its advanced application below, starting with the Criteria (i.e. Test).

If you are new to Т.О.Т.Е. no worries! The journey starts.

Goal achieving structure

Let's take one most attractive goal you have set for 2019.

No matter how you think of it, it contains:

  1. The Trigger, i.e. the event that triggers your active work towards the goal;
  2. The Operations, i.e. your ative efforts aimed at achieving the goal;
  3. The Criteria, i.e. how you will understand that you've reached the destination;
  4. The Effect, i.e. your life after you have achieved the goal.

I suggest a few ideas to optimize each of the four to avoid traps and set your own ^_^

We walk from the end: steps 4, 3, 2, 1.

Your life after...

T.O.T.E. wisards surely know the traps of step 4, so they are invited to skip this section.

There are two traps:

  1. No goal after the goal, as they say, «To see Tokyo and pass away». If you have no forther directions, next day after the victory you will surprisedly find yourself disappointed with the same goal and demotivated & unable to act any longer. You should know already now, where you are going to head for after the current goal is achieved. E.g.: get $1М — invest in a development project (select one then); get married — start bonding with the spouse's kin; complete a PhD project — apply for a new grant, etc.
  2. Your life after the achievement is full of contradictions. Your brain may not know all the steps to the goal, but it definitely imagines the goal in one way or another. You might be unaware of the fact that your brain is in fact scared to think o this goal. "OK, so we get a million bucks, oh how many risks and stress!" "OK, so we have a husband, Gosh, again all those pointless promises and condescending manners... No, thanks!" By the way, the more protests of this kind you have against the goal achievement the harder it is probably to imagine the goal exactly. Don't let protests to bury your goal, become aware of them and make clear to yourself what exactly guarantees safety by each item. Else, edit the goal.

Well, this is classics. The following sections are new findings from my practice. One greater than another.


There is no point in checking goose fat next morning after you started feeding a gosling. You should check the results after a well known time.

When do you start checking whether you have achiened the goal or not? It depends on the goal: 

— «To breathe enough of fresh air» — you start checking right away. 

— «To drive to a client's office» — you start checking tentatively right away, as the navigator shows the point on the map.

— «To get married» — hmmmm, this one is interesting! When do you start realizing that you are about the achieve the goal? I guess it happens earlier than you see the stamp in your passport. 

So what is the exact criterion? Is it when he makes his proposition and you say "yes"? Or is it when he started giving in to your tricks? Or is it when his mom stared at you in that very special way?

Wrong criteria lead the brain into a cyclic test: are we getting through or not?

And now?

This wastes energy and time, makes us return to Active Efforts although we could easily leave this goal alone and focus on other endeavors.

There are three solutions:

  1. Split the goal into interim goals. Each has its own easier criteria. You achieve it, take a breath and keep going.
  2. Criteria within your control zone. What would the interim goal criterion sound like if you put it in a phrase starting with "I" and an active verb? "I tell him I will marry him"; "I record a $100'000 income"; "I present my PhD project on stage". This is a moment that is followed by the goal achievement with no firther efforts on your side. And it is completely yours, it's your active and voluntary effort. This is the idea behind my value "Let go easily" mentioned on my page. All my goals are completed with my action and I don't care what follows. I have sent the offer - the gestalt is closed. I have done a session - I don't care if we carry on the collaboration, etc. Well, I care, what will be with my client but it is no longer my self-interest question, rather a mission-level concern. This relieves my brain greatly.
  3. Peace between the new and the old. At times we want a deep change: a new income level seems to be one of a kind. But at times we set a goal in order to keep the internal order we are used to. For instance, you want to achieve a new income level to keep feeling equal with Ahmed who got ahead of you all of a sudden. The truth is, you should be ready for the new things as well as  the old. You will benefit from being aware whether your criteria are focused on renewal or reservation. When this is clear to you, pay attention to the second part on purpose and make sure there are no traps there. Consider this example: I want to withdraw from operational management. I dream of the new life filled with freedom. But I still want to keep control over the company. If I don't explain to my brain what exactly guarantees its keeping control (say, a motivated and loyal middle management team), it will do its best to prevent my withdrawal from the operational management. The goal will not be achieved or will be achieved in a weird way.

As you see, the moment when the goal is supposed to be achieved (Test as they call it in Т.О.Т.Е.) is not a point, rather a recurrent process. It can repeat itself millions of times and occupy your brain capacity. You will benefit from making your tests (criteria) easy to pass them with no excessive effort.

Active Efforts

Let me just draw your attention to two points:

  1. Energy. You realize exactly what you are going to do actively and you have enough motivation for that. Motivation has a straightforward effect upon energy. Energy is the condition that allows you to take responsibility for the changes you make to the reality. If your energy is low, the reality will be changing out of your control.
  2. Ecology. The key actions you are going to perform are not going to harm other aspects of life. If there is a risk, i.e. you  have to spend less time with family, you have to break up with someone, you have to invest credit money and pay the interest afterwards, - there should be a clear response as for what ensures safety by each item, as well as speaking about the Life After...


And now, the reason I started writing this.

How do you think when does the goal achieving process start? 

Let's say, you are walking to a negotiation that should result in your goal.

Q: So when does the negotiation start? 

A: It has already started as soon as you have thought of it.

The Trigger is not a point as it could seem, rather a process, as well as the Test. It may seem to you that you are going to run after the starter pistol shot. But since you are thinking of this, it has already shot within your mind. That is, you are on the Active Efforts stage, not on the Trigger. However, if you are still waiting for the shot, that means you are in both states at once: «waiting for start», and «on track».

Remember some imaginary dialogues that spin in your head from time to time, although they are either supposed to take place later or have already ended with an outcome different from what you imagine. These are processes of the same kind.

So what are you supposed to do if so? I suggest to turn the Trigger back into a point so it does not waste efforts. There are two ways to do so:

  1. Trigger in the future. This means you refuse to chew the brain gum and completely free your mind from the goal achieving process. You specify a moment in the future when you are going to start working on the goal. Until that moment, you are going to take care of other things. The time itself is now your own self-set trigger. You will benefit from adding an active action to the timepoint: «when midnight comes, I open the door and walk out to my destiny». This approch requires some training as is similar to "inner silence" practices.
  2. Trigger in the past. This means you realize that the goal achieving process has already started, i.e. you are already on track of active efforts.

I remember the first time I tried this in 2016. I was going to a business meeting with an unpleasantly stodgy client whom I was supposed to pursuade not to quit the project. The cost of the next stage was $20'000 which was completely enough to make my month.

I wasted half of the way (I went by train) thinking about how dull that guy was and how disgraceful his face was. You know there are people smart enough to drive you crazy asking billions of questions about what they in fact know nothing about, but are not smart enough to just allow you to take care of your professional tasks (we were configuring web interfaces).

If I had kept this kind of internal dialogue I would have left the train in a state of a hating jelly unable to achieve any productive results. As I became aware of this, it came to my mind that I can start the negotiation in my head. So I started the talks careully shaping the positions, posing his questions, answering them, telling jokes, ets. I made a greater focus of the emotional states each of us should have gone through than on words and decisions. When I was approaching their office, my inner world was calm and solid. My internal Active Efforts were completed. 

When I entered the office I heard that the boss seemed pissed off with something right from the morning. This made me feel stiff again but I was holding on to the thought that I had a folder with printed slides that showed the work done and our suggestions, and the last page below was the invoice or the next stage of the project. So I only had to go through all the pages one by one and reach the invoice.

As he stepped into the room I felt completely balanced again: the negotiation has ended inside me long before. I showed him page by page and demonstrated my control over the project and over the talk too.

Do you think he restrained from his smart questions? He did, indeed! But deep inside I knew there is no actual resistance behind these questions. It was no more than his habit to subtilize.

When I reached to last page and said: «So I suggest paying this invoice», — he asked another question, but it was not for me. He turned to the young lady who was my primary contact person and asked: «How much have we paid so far?» — she specified the amount and the boss said: «OK, send this to the accountants, please», — and walked away.

My victory was already achieved in the train, and all I needed at the office was to sign it.


Realize that you have already started. Manage the process internally till you feel calm and confident about the goal. This will mean that the (interim) goal achievement criteria are already met internally. All you have left is to see them satisfied externally too.

Fine, so let's get down to your besiness after all..:)

Gleb Bogatskiy

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