The present article is the first part of a longer paper in which we outline a model of (scientific) method as a system of instructions aimed at a certain kind of (cognitively interesting) goal. The article both gives an informal presentation of the model and introduces conceptual tools required for a more rigorous presentation. To begin with, the character of goals and their connection to method is elucidated. Secondly, we describe instructions and some of their relations such as that of independence or (immediate) succession. Finally, since methods are often used in problem solving activities, we show what problems are and introduce certain related notions. Broadly speaking, scientific methods are conceived of as means of transforming cognitive problems into their solutions.