Setting Goals

This post comes from a series I wrote as part of a private Tumblr account, way back in 2012. I thought it would be cool to reproduce some of my amateur psychology here 🙂

Goal setting is interesting, because in a way, it conflicts with the idea that life is about the journey, not the destination. To be honest… the destination is inevitably death. If you’re lucky, this will happen in your sleep or in a way where you’ll never know it happened. For most of us though, it’ll be a fairly unpleasant experience.

As much as we have technology, and ways of shielding ourselves from some of the more grim and gruesome realities of life, we have to be aware that they exist. Believing in some sort of afterlife or deity because you want them to be true, despite the lack of any evidence, doesnt make them true.

We have to assume, a this is our only experience, that we get one shot at existing and then it’s lights out. So I think that your life should be enjoyed as you go. You dont know where the road stops. People who hoard their money, and end up too old to spend it, people who deny all vices and live frugally in the hopes of an eternal afterlife… they’re missing the point. Life’s meant to be enjoyed all the way through.

To that end it’s important to have goals, not so much for the completion of that goal (because at that point you’d be setting another goal) but for the challenge of having a path to follow in some area of your life.

Goal setting tips:

  • Make the goal manageable and achievable
  • Make the goal measurable, so you’ll know when you reach it
  • Have a lot of smaller, mini-goals along the way.. so you’re always winning
  • Have a way of recording your progress – an app, a chart etc – and update it regularly
  • Let other people know what your goal is so the public shame of potentially missing your targets spurs you on
  • Have a big reward planned when you hit your goal
  • Choose goals that improve you as a person