Goal setting 101

A trip to Europe combined with recent family events have aided me in re-doubling my efforts to reach my goals.


It can be a trivial event like a tumble on a bicycle, or something as serious as a sudden illness that gives us pause – Makes us reflect and change course.


Let’s keep this practical though. If you’re just starting out in your career here are some items I’ve learned, forgotten, and remembered.

  1. Figure out what you want. – This is hard. It takes thought, conversations with close friends, and lots of time (you can’t cram for this test). Sometimes you know early. Sometimes you stumble upon it later. You will know when you find it.
  2. Prepare, Prepare, Prepare – Plot a course and a timeline. Who has done what you want to do? Who has succeeded and who has failed? Why? 
  3. Adapt, Adapt, Adapt – Scribes had great jobs until the invention of the printing press. Typesetters replaced Scribes for a while. Encyclopedia Britannica was probably a cool place to work until Google and Wikipedia.
  4. Kill Your Television – The TV is the single biggest procrastination pit in history. Limit viewing to one hour per day before you go to bed. Read a book (see #2) – Play a game. Walk the dogs.
  5. Buy a cheap notebook – and always keep it with you. You will need it as thoughts pop into your head.

People and things will conspire to keep you from finding your goals and attaining them. Here’s the most important rule.


Do not settle – never settle. As NYT’s columnist Maureen Dowed has written, “People who settle for less than they deserve get less than they settle for.”


– m



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One Response to "Goal setting 101"

  1. If you'd like a tool for setting your goals, you can use this web application:

    Gtdagenda.com

    You can use it to manage your goals, projects and tasks, set next actions and contexts, use checklists, schedules and a calendar.
    A Vision Wall (inspiring images attached to your goals) is available too.
    Works also on mobile, and syncs with Evernote.

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