I'm finding this discussion really helpful, because I am currently in the transition of going from linear goal-setting to dynamic planning, like the agile lists that Paul is talking about.
Currently, I have overarching goals on the year-long and month-long, but I am managing my daily and day-to-day activities with bubble maps of things to get done, with a vague order of when these things might happen- putting some bubbles at different positions on the map for day (one end labelled morning and one end labelled evening).
I find it a little hard to let go of the idea of having a "mission" or "objective," perhaps due to cultural and institutional training, but I am starting to get to a more list-like approach. what I do with my overarching stuff is I "let go" or "release" myself of certain goals and objectives as I learn, change, and discover that some of the things I wanted to do no longer are things I want to do anymore. The letting go part is a little difficult, because I think following my word is important, as part of having integrity, but my personal goals are my own, and it is solely up to me whether I want to do those anymore. So, really, I can change my mind anytime. It just gets a little hard realizing these things aren't etched in stone.
Davin Hoyt wrote:
I have talked to a few males who,... have lessened their anxiety in planning.
That's kind of where I am having a bit of trouble- lessening my anxiety about it all and having faith that "a better option will present itself."
Since using bubble maps in my day-to-day life, I have noticed that opportunities present themselves that I do feel free to take advantage of, within the scale of a day, because I feel I am free to do so. The bubble approach to the day makes me feel a bit more human, because I don't have to refuse every opportunity that happens that I was not aware of, prior to planning out the day. I feel I can do things more freely, because with bubbles, I think of things more of "this will be done sometime in the near future, preferably today, but not entirely required." Whereas, when I used to have everything linearly planned out from one hour to the next, I felt "this has been written in stone and must happen in the allotted time, at the designated time." The linear method for daily living did not make me feel human. I was very efficient at making things happen, but it also resulted in me refusing spontaneity, fun stuff, and new sudden opportunities.
I'm uneasy about creating and using a list, instead of mission with sub-goals, for longer term thinking, because it makes me very nervous to not have a good idea of what will happen in the future. From my results with bubble mapping on day-to-day life, I ought to be able to sense that "a better option will present itself" for longer term things, too, but letting go of my belief/wish for control over my life is hard for me. And it does remind me of what some of students felt, when I was peer leading in chemistry. They felt afraid of the uncertain future. And that's, I think, where I am stuck a bit. I'm not sure how to have optimism for the long-term. I want to believe "a better option will present itself," but I find such faith hard to have, which is why I find making this kind of mental transition difficult.