# Do you keep goals?

## Main Question or Discussion Point

Do you set yourself goals or targets?

I avoid keeping it. My mind becomes occupied with it and failure in achieving it causes me a lot of distress. Doing things on the go keeps me happy. If I fail in achieving a goal, I regret the time I wasted on it.

Well, purpose of asking this question is that currently I have a dream that I desperately want to achieve. But I'm afraid of setting it as my goal. Instead I could just work normally and see if I ultimately achieve it. What will be better?

Related General Discussion News on Phys.org
WannabeNewton
My goal is to one day finish homework that isn't due an hour after I finish it.

Evo
Mentor
It depends on the type of person you are. Some people need goals to motivate them. At work, I was put through seminars on "goal setting", I'm just not a goal oriented person, I'm an overall "overachiever", but don't set specific goals, but supposedly it works great for many.

Borek
Mentor
I keep changing them.

What I HATE about myself is that I never finish anything. I like to set goals but I never finish them, god knows why :/

Ryan_m_b
Staff Emeritus
I'm micro ambitious. If I have a goal it generally stretches to the next few days, or hours. I might have one or two long term/life goals but in my experience no matter how much you plan a lot of life is luck. My biggest goals were going to uni and getting a phd. On track for that, next vague goal is career in my field. But I don't have any specific goals. What's the expression, fate makes a mockery of all men's plans?

Akaisora
Gold Member
My goal is to one day finish homework that isn't due an hour after I finish it.
I told you.

danago
Gold Member
I keep flexible goals (i.e. goals that I don't pressure myself to keep). I work hard towards achieving them, and try to gain a lot from the process, but I might drop the goal at a later stage if I find it unsustainable or my priorities change. I always make sure I'm working on something though, so goals come and go, but they are always there.

Pythagorean
Gold Member
There's an important balance between having a direction and being flexible about the details.

Choppy
Jack Canfield (a motivational speaker and known for his "Chicken Soup for the Soul" books) has this story about how at one point in his life he set a goal for himself of making $100k per year. At the time, he was making substantially less than that (I don't remember the exact number, but let's say it was around$40k). He goes into a fair amount of detail about what he tried to accomplish his goal - he had these books and he earned 25 cents per book and set about trying to sell 400k of them, put up motivational posters for himself, etc. - and at the end of the story he fell short. He only may $98k. He concludes with a statement along the lines of "I went from$40k/year to $98k/year. I missed my goal, but do you think I was disappointed?" I know it's a little wishy washy, but I try as much as I can to follow the SMART rule for setting and achieving goals for myself. So far, it's actually worked fairly well for me. Specific - A goal should be something you can write down, something tangible, something you can talk to others about. "Doing better in school" is on the general side of the spectrum compared to specific statements like: "Raising my GPA to a 3.5", "Attending all lectures", or "spending at least a half-hour every day reading ahead in the lectures." Measurable - It helps to have goals that can be quantified. Not only will this let you know if you've met it, but it allows you to track your progress, and understand how short you have fallen when you're not successful so that you can improve the next time. Achievable - This is where a small dose of reality comes in. First, is the goal even possible? Second, is it something that's realistically possible given your circumstances. Have others in your position done it? How have they done it? This forces you to have a solid look at the obstacles that prevent you from obtaining your goals. Relevant - Is your goal in line with what you really want to achieve? Some people may find for example that they are chasing financial goals, when what they really want is more time with their kids. So it makes sense to constantly assess and reassess your goals. Time-limited - The final point is arguably part of being specific, but it's generally recommended that your goal have a time limit to it. This also helps you to establish long term goals and break those into shorter term goals. I set goals. But as of now haven't accomplished any of them because silly me always set its goals for about a thousand years from now. That's why I'm always working my butt off to reach what appears to be a small point in the horizon and sometimes it appears to be getting even farther (that's when I strain even more to prevent it from disappearing from sight). For the moment its fine, I've got visual on it right now. A motivational video: (I was looking for it but couldn't find it for the sake of me. No wonder, the title was written in another set of characters) Moral: Even if it consumes your life, just reach for it. Last edited by a moderator: Evo Mentor A motivational video: Motivational? Two people waste their life for nothing? Don't get it. Last edited by a moderator: Student100 Education Advisor Gold Member I set goals. But as of now haven't accomplished any of them because silly me always set its goals for about a thousand years from now. That's why I'm always working my butt off to reach what appears to be a small point in the horizon and sometimes it appears to be getting even farther (that's when I strain even more to prevent it from disappearing from sight). For the moment its fine, I've got visual on it right now. A motivational video: (I was looking for it but couldn't find it for the sake of me. No wonder, the title was written in another set of characters) Moral: Even if it consumes your life, just reach for it. At some point your goals have to reachable or otherwise you'll just waste your life daydreaming. Like trying to finish homework earlier than an hour before it's due. Impossible. You can’t plan out every aspect of your life, that’s just silly, but you can have a general idea of where you want to be going with your life. A lot of kids come on the forums here and say “I’m 16 and I’m going to get a PhD in physics, what type of jobs will I be looking at when I get my PhD?” ohrly? It would be much more reasonable to suggest that you would like to go for a PhD, and how would someone get started, is it right for me…ect. I like to think more in terms of possibilities for the future, with some short term feasible goal setting. Last edited by a moderator: I guess it does depend on the type of person you are. I cannot keep goals as it bugs me. I can have targets for a few hours to a couple of days maximum but not more than that. Just to make it clear, I am not sad or anything. I don't need motivational videos. Anyways, thank you guys for your helpful replies. Chronos Science Advisor Gold Member Start easy and work from there. I have daily goals - eating, sleeping and bios. Also work goals, like put in 8 hours and go home. PF goals, like not posting something utterly stupid. Most people just move the goalposts to achieve satisfaction. A goal is a futuristic ideal. Circumstances constantly evolve and your long term goals must evolve accordingly. Otherwise, you will be perpetually frustrated and disappointed. Do you set yourself goals or targets? Oh man, I'm goal-oriented cock-a-mammy. Basically I get an incredible amount of things done virtually every week because I set (achievable) goals and write them down on a dry-erase board and I work towards accomplishing them, then scratch them out when I'm done. If its a big goal, I break it down into smaller steps and set those steps as my goals and work towards achieving them. Doesn't have to be big goals, just goals every day to accomplish. Each morning before I get out of my bed, I think about how I plan to accomplish the goals for that day and plan my life around accomplishing them. So focus, focus, focus and work towards achieving your goals. Keep a clear head, smart mind, and work hard. danago Gold Member Oh man, I'm goal-oriented cock-a-mammy. Basically I get an incredible amount of things done virtually every week because I set (achievable) goals and write them down on a dry-erase board and I work towards accomplishing them, then scratch them out when I'm done. If its a big goal, I break it down into smaller steps and set those steps as my goals and work towards achieving them. Doesn't have to be big goals, just goals every day to accomplish. Each morning before I get out of my bed, I think about how I plan to accomplish the goals for that day and plan my life around accomplishing them. So focus, focus, focus and work towards achieving your goals. Keep a clear head, smart mind, and work hard. How long have you been doing that for? Evo Mentor To me "goal setting" is for something major, an achievement, otherwise, it's just a "to do list". Things I need to get done aren't goals, at least not yet, someday when I get too old to get things done, everyday things might become "goals". How long have you been doing that for? I'm sorry guys for not getting back soon but I've been busy today working towards accomplishing my goals. You see, my goal was to keep my truck from getting smushed. I guess I neglected my shed and the termites got to it and now the roof is about to collapse so I need to fix it but first I have to remove a honey bee colony in the wall I've been having for about 10 years and when the bee-keeper told me it would take$375.00 to get them out, I decided to make my own bee costume and take them out myself so today I did so and transferred them to a little bee hive I made for them so I guess now I'm a bee keeper.

Been doing the dry-erase boad for about 15 years and I get a ton of work done because of it. You guys should try it.

Now, what's tomorrow? :)

lisab
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
I'm sorry guys for not getting back soon but I've been busy today working towards accomplishing my goals. You see, my goal was to keep my truck from getting smushed. I guess I neglected my shed and the termites got to it and now the roof is about to collapse so I need to fix it but first I have to remove a honey bee colony in the wall I've been having for about 10 years and when the bee-keeper told me it would take \$375.00 to get them out, I decided to make my own bee costume and take them out myself so today I did so and transferred them to a little bee hive I made for them so I guess now I'm a bee keeper.

Been doing the dry-erase boad for about 15 years and I get a ton of work done because of it. You guys should try it.

Now, what's tomorrow? :)
Well now we know one more little contribution to honey bee colony collapse disorder :tongue2:!

I do like to work towards general goals. I don't like timelines, but I like schedules. For example, if my goal is to be able to run 5 miles in one hour, I like to schedule a time to run on certain days of the week. But I don't like saying, I will run 4 miles in one hour by <date>. I have plenty of deadlines in my career, I don't want them in my personal life :yuck:.

Well now we know one more little contribution to honey bee colony collapse disorder :tongue2:!
When I left them yesterday, they seem to be adjusting quite well to their new home. A large ball of bees are developing on the side of the hive. I think they're incubating a new queen for the home.

So today I think my goals are two: check bees, make bisquits. :)