How To Set Goals

December 18, 2022

4 min read

How To Set Goals
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Let's figure out how to get closer to our dream life by setting the right goals.

The first step is to visualize our dream lifestyle, what a regular day looks like, what we are doing, where, and with whom. The more detailed the picture of our desired lifestyle, the better we can decide on goals that will bring us closer to the vision. You can write down the schedule, activities, hobbies, types of people you will be spending time with, the kind of city, and the house you'll be living in. To make it stuck in mind, people go as far as making a short video highlighting their dream lifestyle and rewatching it from time to time, but having some pictures will do too. Since the primary purpose of goals is to improve our life, making it clear how achieving the goal will enhance our life will make us more motivated to work while making the process easier.

It's OK to be unsure about how you want your life to look, and that's where experimentation comes in. It never was easier to test lifestyles with easier access to places. You can take a ticket to a small seaside place, or rent a cabin in the woods. The same goes for hobbies and activities since there are easy ways to try surfing or mountain biking. Yes, those experiments could cost money and time, but being confident that you want it will motivate you during the execution process toward this goal. For example, a few years back, I was swimming regularly and dreamed about living on the seaside to go in the open water almost every morning. But after going to the seasides in Barcelona, the Canary Islands, Ukraine, Georgia, and Turkey, I realized that it's indeed a good goal, but not because of swimming, very few places were comfortable for that, but because of clean air and calmness that the sea gives me.

To decide on what goals we want to pursue, we can look at billionaire Ray Dalio, who advises picking goals carefully. Lots of people pursue too many goals at the same time, achieving few or none of them. We should focus on a few important ones that will move the needle. Some successful people would think in baskets or categories like health, wealth, relationships, fun, and mindset, pick a few that are behind compared to other baskets, and set the goal there. If you have a good business but are lonely and out of shape, you may skip the wealth basket and set goals to get in shape and find love. Last year, I failed to achieve the twelve pull-ups followed by 12 clean leg raises target because it wasn't that important to me. I already had a pretty good physique, while my career wasn't in the best shape.

Ray Dalio notes that while setting goals, we don't need to think much about how we will achieve them. Once we commit, it might take lots of thinking and many revisions to plan to finalize the design and do the tasks to achieve it, but we should separate those stages. The goal you will set should be achievable, but it might have a different deadline based on a plan to achieve it. Let's say your goal is to have a minimalistic retirement from rental apartments you own. You may achieve it by working a safe high-paying job for ten years or building a business in an area you have a lot of experience and exiting it in five years.

Let's summarize. First, we need to know what we want and how our desired state and lifestyle look and feel. Then we split it up into buskets and set the goals for undeveloped areas. It is a simplistic system, but it's easy to grasp, and that's good. The next stage is to make a plan and start execution, but we'll do it in another video!