Sharing news and commentary about education, careers, investing, and life.

Sharing news and commentary about education, careers, investing, and life.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

What about setting goals?

Part of what keeps me going is setting (and then trying to reach) goals. So I figured I'd write about how I do this to share how I go about the process (haphazardly, actually). Then I figured that more common advice - with the added benefit of not having to write it on my own - could be found here. Click that link for all sorts of posts on the topic of goal setting.

As an aside, the way I set goals isn't by any means mentioned in those series of posts. I sort of just say, "wouldn't it be cool if...?" then think "now is this feasible...?" and then set whatever it is as a goal. If this doesn't make sense, it's probably because my method is, well, not really a method. And if you have difficulty keeping track of things, or prefer methods, then I don't recommend my approach to goal setting.

I also wonder how important it is to be flexible with your goals. On the whole, I think being flexible about your goals is more important than having the "right" goals. I know I didn't set starting a company as a specific goal - and then, lo and behold, the whole thing sort of took off on its own. The same goes with reading - I never set out to read a certain amount this year, but after being challenged by a former boss to read even more I decided I could (and would enjoy) reading 2, 3 books per week.

The other thing that got me thinking is people who don't set goals. This isn't necessarily bad, but I wonder how many successful people have gotten to where they are without setting goals. Perhaps those people were the beneficiaries of luck? Nassem Nicholas Taleb would certainly think so.

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