Directional goal setting

June 15, 2020

It’s hard to live life without goals.

You can totally live without any as I’ve tried before, but aimlessly wandering is only fun for a short while.

On the other hand, going hardcore on your goals and forgetting everything else completely, aka forgetting how to live, is too far on the other extremity.

What I found works for me is - directional goal setting.

It's a simple 2 step process to align yourself to your long-term goals.

Step 1

Long-term thinking

For a given goal, imagine where you want to be in a long time horizon, say in 1-2-5-10 years. Imagine it vividly, in great detail.

For example, my directional goal with health is that I am maintaining my weight, my body shape, muscle mass, fat % are at healthy levels. I don’t imagine being a ripped beach bod in 10 years. I also don’t imagine being a dad bod in 10 years. I imagine being fit. I should be able to climb 10 flights of stairs, I should be able to sprint or bend and touch my toes without pulling a muscle, I should be able to wear t-shirts without my belly sticking out.

Another directional goal of mine is earning my autonomy, and another learning new skills.

Alright, so that’s setting direction.

Step 2

Snakable tasks

Now that you know where you want to head directionally, it’s time to set up little tasks, routines, actions that I would take everyday (or as frequently as possible) which in the long term would help you achieve my goal.

Breaking down my health goal into little tasks that I like to call snackable tasks:

  • Regular flexibility routines (10-15 mins)
  • Go for runs (15-20 mins)
  • Fasting till lunch
  • Keeping the fridge clear of junk (easier than trying NOT to snack)
  • Eat generally healthy meals that are high in protein, good quality fat, and moderate to low in carbs

If I do this for 10 years consistently, good health is inevitably the outcome.

To earn my autonomy, I continue to build out business ideas on the internet. Admittedly I’m only on my first and about to build my second, but in 10 years I imagine either doing really well with my second business or having built a few more in between.

And to keep learning new skills, I get hands on with everything I do. I wasn’t writing React code in production until March of 2020. I hadn’t made vector shapes and a logo until May of 2020. What’s next?

Bottom line

Goal setting and achieving goals isn’t really difficult.

You could read 100s of articles and guides, apply frameworks etc.

Or you could simply follow my 2-step directional goal setting process.

It’s a really simple machine.

If your input (effort) and commitment (quality of effort) are fixed factors, then the outcome is inevitable.

The only variable, is time.

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