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The Growth Ladder - Streaks and Goals

Updated: Sep 13, 2021

Recently a fellow streaker, Danny Call, sent me an email that took my thinking on streaking to a whole new level. Danny is a systems engineer working on his PhD, has been a long-time streaker and will often expand my thinking to new levels and what he wrote did just that.

“Jeff,

I have been thinking about how I view the relationship between goals and streaks. You have written and talked about streaks being the floor on which you stand to reach your goals. Which I agree; however, I think that there is an even more powerful relationship between streaks and goals.

I have had a lot of success with my streaks in becoming who I have wanted to be – I have made progress. However, something was missing for me as I worked toward the vision of who I wanted to be. I needed some mileposts along the way to let me know I was actually making progress. I wanted to take advantage of the sense of purpose and accomplishment that come from working towards and achieving specific goals. I know that streaks and goals work together but I needed a model to see how they worked together. Following is what I came up with:

A ladder is used to reach the roof of a house. On a ladder you have rungs and stringers. The stringers or sides of the ladder rest on the floor and on the roof. The rungs rest on the stringers. Without the rungs of the ladder you can’t climb to the roof. Without the stringers there is nothing to hold up the rungs. This is a system to get you to where you want to go.

To climb to who you want to become you need a ladder, I’ll call it ‘The Growth Ladder.’ The stringers of the growth ladder are streaks and the rungs are discrete goals. The roof on which you lean the ladder is who you want to be and the ground on which your ladder stands is who you are currently.

The growth ladder illustrates how you use streaks and goals together to become who you want to be. Following is an example of how it works for me:


Be Statement: I want to be a world-class systems engineer

Streak 1: Read at least one sentence from a systems engineering publication daily

Streak 2: Email at least one published systems engineering author weekly

(Like stringers on a ladder these streaks are continuous. Even after I accomplish each goal I continue to do these streaks.)


Goal: Publish an article in the Journal of Systems Engineering by July 1, 2022,

Next Goal: Complete my OCSMP Advanced certification by December 31, 2022

Next Goal: Complete a PhD in Systems Engineering by May 2023

(Like I only step on one rung of the ladder at a time, I only work on one goal at a time. Each goal helps me climb to who I want to be.)


One other thing I realized is that my streaks should be something that I have control over, I can do them no matter what the circumstance. Whereas goals have some risk in them I may or may not accomplish my goal. Going back to the example, I have complete control over my streak of whether or not I read from a systems engineering publication but I don’t have control over whether or not I am published.

Using streaks and goals together gives me the system to become who I ultimately want to be.”

Thank you Danny for allowing "The Growth Ladder" to become a permanent part of the Streaking family! I invite everyone to use the growth ladder to start climbing to who you want to be.

Keep Streakin’,

Jeff

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