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How specific should we make our goals?

Posted Jan 04 2012 2:38am

by Oli on January 4, 2012

I’ve been mulling over a lot of the things I want to do in 2012 since I posted my list of goals . The question is, was the list enough?

That list represents the essence of everything I want to do over the next 12 months, the things I want to focus my life on and what I think will bring me the most happiness and fulfilment throughout the year. But is striving for “more” of something too generic an aim? Should I have more specific, more focussed goals?

Schools of thought on goals, aims, targets or whatever you choose to call them vary widely all around the world and across the internet. Some people live entirely without goals , others suggest a single goal at a time . Still others suggest a whole raft of long-sighted goals that you take baby steps towards achieving every single day. So what’s the right way to do it?

I suspect, like just about every other productivity hack, life-style design tutorial or future-planning tip, trick or tool, the answer is whatever works for you. Will I be more successful this year if I lay out all of my aims and objectives in clear, concise points, posted somewhere obvious to keep an eye on, or will I be better off ignoring everything a taking things one day at a time, one piece at a time?

Knowing myself, I suspect I’m somewhere in the middle – I don’t like planning a long way in the future; my life has always been far too uncertain for that. But I also know that without some sort of target, I tend to rest on my laurels a bit too much and wait for opportunities to present themselves. If I’m truly going to be able to achieve the long-term, big-picture goals I laid out at the turn of the year, I feel that I need to set myself concise, short-term targets for the steps I need to have taken to make things work.

The plan, then, going forward into the year, is to find and set myself manageable goals and to make them public via this blog. We all know a little bit of public pressure (and support) can do wonders to focus the mind and achieve a motivation that tends to be lacking when we’re focussed purely on a goal within our head.

Look out, then, for my first few major short-term goals, which will hopefully arrive on here as soon as I’ve settled on them in my head. It’s then up to you to keep me on track – bug me on Twitter , hit me up on Google+ or harangue me over ; anything you feel you need to do to keep me on target to achieve what I want to get through.

Call it crowdsourcing for life. Let’s see how it works.

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