Tuesday, February 2, 2010

book review: The Magic LAMP by Keith Ellis

In preparing for my goal-setting class, I read a lot of books, websites, and other materials on goals. And in general, they were pretty dry and boring reads. But Keith Ellis, in his book The Magic LAMP: Goal Setting for People Who Hate Setting Goals has captured some of the magic of goals and transmits it to his readers with joy and enthusiasm.

I highly recommend it!

The LAMP in his program breaks down into:
Lock on -- What do You Want?
Manage Your Progress

In many ways his advice parallels mine -- figure out what you want and make a plan to get it. Then do something (anything) that starts you in the direction of your goal. Keep your goal in sight at all times and maintain an emotional connection to it. Then just keep going.

He calls goals wishes, because, in effect, that's what they are. "Wishing" has a whimsical, heart-felt-ness to it that boring old "goal-setting" just lacks. And, tempted as I am, I won't steal it. (Though it's such a great idea I really, really want to!)

He makes a number of great points, some of which are:
  • Everyone knows how to make a plan, because we all plan for vacations. So if you say "I'm not good at setting goals because I can't stick to a plan," that's kind of crap.
  • If you're not motivated enough to act on your goal, then you don't care enough about attaining it to act. And if you don't care enough, then why pursue it in the first place? You may be unhappy, but you're just not unhappy enough to actually do anything about it.
  • Self-destructive behavior is just a habit. You can change any habit in 30 days if you apply yourself to it. But you have to be willing to do the work to release the old habit.
  • Life is like a self-service gas station -- you can sit in your car and honk the horn as long as you want, but that's not going to get your tank filled.
  • Goal setting (or, in his book, wishing) is like gardening; you have to have faith that your efforts will get you to your goal. Nobody would plant seeds if they felt strongly that they wouldn't turn into tomatoes!
  • You can never finish what you never start.

He has some great exercises, fabulous insights, and difficult questions to ask yourself. If working with my posts has not inspired you enough then you're not human! I mean, if working with my posts has not inspired you enough, then pick up this book. Hell, pick it up anyway!* You won't regret it!

*or get it at the library like I did! Thanks, NYPL!

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