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Goals

Goals


Goal Setting

We set goals for our careers, our health, and our lives in general. However, what we don’t think about enough is the science and strategy of how to accomplish your goals.

 

I. What is Goal Setting?

 

 

If we are serious about achieving our goals, however, we should start with a much different question. Rather than considering what kind of success we want, we should ask, “What kind of pain do I want?”

 

 

This brings us to our first key insight. Goal setting is not only about choosing the rewards you want to enjoy, but also the costs you are willing to pay.

 

Rudders and Oars

Imagine a small row boat. Your goals are like the rudder on the boat. They set the direction and determine where you go. If you commit to one goal, then the rudder stays put and you continue moving forward. If you flip-flop between goals, then the rudder moves all around and it is easy to find yourself rowing in circles.

 

However, there is another part of the boat that is even more important than the rudder: The oars. If the rudder is your goal, then the oars are your process for achieving it. While the rudder determines your direction, it is the oars that determine your progress.

 

This metaphor of the rudder and the oars helps clarify the difference between systems and goals. It is an important distinction that shows up everywhere in life.

 

Goals are useful for setting the direction. Systems are great for actually making progress. 

 

This brings us to our second key insight. Goals determine your direction. Systems determine your progress. You’ll never get anywhere just by holding the rudder. You have to row.

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