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The Most Natural Process for Self-Improvement and the Achievement of Goals

Updated: Dec 15, 2023

We live our lives by processes, which is something that we, generally, don’t consciously consider. Think about this for a moment: our daily routines are governed processes; our businesses and protocols are managed by processes; our bodies function through various biological processes; the stability of our environment is reliant upon ecological and atmospheric processes (among others); the stories of our lives unfold in cultures and societies that are ordered by a variety of processes. Whether constructed or natural, processes are so inextricably part of our day-to-day lives that we scarcely recognize them for what they are – processes, series of actions that yield an outcome.

Process: a series of actions directed to some end.

Take a moment to consider how many processes guide and impact your life. Almost everything we do involves order of some sequence. We are educated, find jobs and advance in our careers, woo and marry our partners, build families and develop communities, keep religious traditions, plan, pursue and achieve goals, drive from here to there, exercise, serve roles as a member, colleague, or teammate. We exist by way of processes.

How we regard processes may be related to how we understand and regard relationships – the nature of dynamics and their effects. Our awareness of processes is important. The better we understand the processes in our lives—whether it be to build sales for a business, improve our health, acquire a skill, develop ourselves, etc.—the more likely we are to improve being effective in our capacities and endeavors.

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You may have been unaware of this fact: any effort you’ve made to improve yourself, your training program, your business, or reach a goal has involved IDEAL. When we actively work to learn how to improve in order to succeed at something, or learn in order to solve a challenge, we are concerned with one or more aspects of IDEAL. IDEAL is an acronym for: intend, direct, engage, assess, and learn.

Consider how IDEAL applies to your personal and professional interests.

Intend = What you would attempt in order to achieve, solve, create…

Direct = The course you choose to realize what you intend

Engage = The actions you apply in order to realize your intentions

Assess = Your sense of progress toward your aims

Learn = Your determinations from your discoveries

The Most Natural Process to Success

As mentioned, in addition to being life’s natural process for our development, IDEAL can serve as a model by which to plan and manage progress toward personal or professional goals. Let’s review the main points of IDEAL:

  • IDEAL is an acronym for the natural process by which we develop ourselves. Each aspect of IDEAL—intend, direct, engage, assess, learn—represents a human attribute.

  • IDEAL may be used as a model by which to plan and manage progress toward a goal.

  • As each aspect is engaged in proper succession, IDEAL becomes cyclical, a continuous process that allows us to build on our experiences, improve, and reach our potential to become and achieve.

  • Many of the problems we have with self-development and the achievement of our goals may be linked to imbalance or inconsistencies with how IDEAL is expressed in our lives.

  • Since IDEAL is a cyclical process that is driven by the Learn aspect, our improvement, success, and triumph over challenges may be expected, as we apply IDEAL.


“If you cannot describe what you are doing as a process,

then you don't know what you're doing.”

– W. Edwards Deming

Whether you're interested in reaching your personal and professional potential or not, you cannot choose not to express the aspects of IDEAL; we can only choose how we express what we intend, how we direct ourselves, engage, assess, and try to learn. Since IDEAL is at work in all of our lives, regardless of our being goal-oriented or attentive to our expressions of IDEAL, and given its importance to our development, it would be wise to increase your awareness of IDEAL.

Get the most from IDEAL by being more aware of yourself – what you intend, and how your direct your life, engage pursuits, assess your progress, and learn. Apply what you learn in order to refine how you express IDEAL to develop yourself and improve your ability to achieve your goals.

More information about IDEAL and how to be a productive IDEALer (someone who applies IDEAL to achieve a goal or for self-development) is available at

I wish you all the best for continued success!


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Copyright © 2022 Steven Robert Young. All rights reserved.



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