• I have a feeling, for better or for worse, that setting annual goals would, in some sense, predetermine how I would be spending my time. Even though that time would be, in some sense, be spent doing that which I explicitly have decided I want to do, the idea of pre-blocked time registers in my brain as unfree rather than free time.
  • I feel some uncertainty about what I want, and so I feel tension around the relationship between setting and clarifying goals. If I think in major years of growth and progress if the goals I set at the beginning of the year would have been the ‘right’ ones, it feels like the answer is probably a resounding no. In a sense, through a somewhat chaotic process, I continue to clarify the goals over time. And I feel like locking into some goals may lessen the extent to which that exploration happens. Of course there are ways to set process-related goals that are enablers of exploration, but then I feel some resistance to doing so because of the previous point.
  • I find it extremely difficult to predict my own energy and ability to complete certain tasks. I’d say in 2013, my ability to do so was essentially non-existent; it improved a lot from working with Eureka; and in the last 2 years or so, I’d say it has probably improved by another 15–20%, but that’s on a low base. I feel resistance here, because setting and failing miserably on goals is often feels more demotivating than simply not setting goals and using my somewhat random emergent process to learn and grow.
  • All of the above resistances combine with procrastination — the simple fact that it’s much easier to not set goals, not follow through on them, and not review them, than it is to do so.
  • The most obvious place to start would simply be whatever comes to mind, but this has clear flaws
  • A better version of the above would be to batch into categories — learning, earning, health, fun, community — and then to set goals accordingly. The goals can be process oriented or outcome oriented.
  • Another way of thinking about it is to only focus on enabling habits — anything that I think improves my general well-being and/or functioning in the world. This would be something like — meditating every day or writing everyday or reading everyday or getting 8 hours of sleep everyday.
  • Another might be to only focus on a small set of outcomes and then to figure out the process as I go on — i.e., to earn a certain amount of money or publish a piece or something.
  • Another might be to only focus on those goals which I feel will not happen unless I plan them — as discussed above.
  • Guaranteed financial security versus full pursuit of meaningful and creative work
  • Guaranteed financial security versus pursuit of social justice causes that are important to me
  • Fully committing to one broad ‘thing’ versus trying something completely new and out of the box which may change my mind
  • Commitment to PP as such versus to other related ideas for which PP may or may not be the best platform
  • Spiritual enrichment and commitment to a continual emergent journey versus long-term commitment that is not joyful/meaningful in the short-run but that increases long-term financial flexibility and freedom




Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Recommended from Medium

How I’m learning to love unemployment — as best I can

Reachable dreams. Step-by-step

3 Ways to Fix the Start Barrier in Your Pharmacy

Making Resolutions Stick: Bringing The Finish Line Closer — Sam Chillcott Coaching

Little Miss One Big Mess

3 Tips to Get to Inbox Zero Faster With Gmail’s App

Weeknotes 47–2021

Anticipated Distraction.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store


More from Medium

R.I.P., Gentleman John

Not Over My Dead Body: Inside The Mind Of A Killer

A Penguin (not really) and the Internet

Pearls: Allegory of the Oyster Cave