Interesting arguments: Goal vs No Goal?!

Interesting arguments: Goal or No Goal?!

During the research of goal setting strategy, I recently went over some discussions from Leo Babauta (from zenhabits) “The Best Goal is No Goal”  , Jeff Goins (from Jeff Goins Writer) “You Don’t Need a Plan to Change Your Life” … , they claimed not to set goals in our life for less stress and simplicity. It is an interesting point of views and made me considered about how goals setting might helps me with.

Referring to this point, David Damron (from LifeExcursion) published a post “5 Reasons Leo Babauta is Wrong About Goals (inc. Leo’s Response!)” He argued to the importance of goal in our lives.

I would say we can success without goal setting if we are passionate enough, for those who are self-disciplined and organized person can “burning their passion” and achieved what they wanted. It is not necessary to set up long-term goals, short-term goals, action plan… officially.

However, for some people, just like me, usually need guidelines and 3-rd party assistance to maintain our passion. We are easily getting lost without road-map.

Therefore goal setting is essential for someone like me, and I will keep going on this blog.

Goal Setting

Everybody knows what is goal, it gives us the direction of our life. And there is no point here to discuss why we set goal, since we all do it every new year! Just to ensure : setting right goals and setting goals right!

Dream a big dream, based on each aspect on our last post, let’s think about what you would like to be, to do and to have, in each of different aspects.


In searching around goal setting strategy, there is a popular concept, SMART goal. I never doubt for this concept since it seemed very sufficient and highly recommended by most resources. Basically S.M.A.R.T. stands for 5 criterion:


It is important to ensure your goal should be fitted into all of these. Then you will come up with a list with goal of each aspect and that should be measurable, such as:

Health: loss 20lbs;
Finance: increase 50% of current income;
Study: finish reading a book monthly ….

Note: “Be more healthy” is not a sufficient enough, you will not able to confirm weather you make it or not.

It is interesting that this SMART concept is exactly the one we used in the Define phase in Six Sigma, which is the management strategy in maintaining and improving quality of production or services.

With holding your list of goals, the next step will be defining your value. Everyone has different value, and even the same person will change his/her value in different stage, some people love their career more than anything; some might put their family first. It doesn’t matter which you prefer, and there is no right or wrong for this.

Now simply sort  all 7 aspects (assign a scale for each of them), note that the scale should not be repeated:

1  (the most important) – 7 (the most unimportant)

Similarly, assign a weighting for the goals in each aspects, that means each aspects should include goal 1, goal 2, goal 3….  (so there should be seven goal 1).

Now you should comp up with a matrix, just  multiple each  (scale of aspect) x (weighting of goal). You should then complete a final weighting for every goals. The lowest weighting, the important to you. See? this is now you found your long-term goal – the lowest weighting one!

I’m not saying you cannot have 2 or more long-term goal, but it is better not to be too much, keeping one single long-term goal can be easier to attained.

Afterwards, you have to look into each goal, seeing how to achieve it, what actions you will need to accomplished. List out all and form short-term goals. Short-term goals are steps for us to climb up what we finally wanted.

Then, think about what you need to do to obtain the short-term goals. The list of the tasks would be assigned into our daily to-do-list. By completing the tasks, we could get to the short-term and then long-term goals.

Generally this is the basis ideas of goal setting. We have set the target. How we ought to achieve will be discussed later.

In the online journal of Effective Time Management Strategies, it provides many resources and details explanation on Goal Setting Strategy. You can go and see if helps. You can also enroll their online courses for free, in which, you will receive a email daily about Goal Setting.

Friendly reminder:

1, Please write down your goal(s): no matter where it is, may be just a piece of paper or publish on your blog. Everything in written format can be maintained much easier than keep it in mind. Don’t over estimate our brain! In addition, it is better to place somewhere you could see it all the time.

Whenever you write it, it reminds you what is your goal and keep you motivated. You can always review to it, seeing if you catch up for the progress. Similar as commandments.

2, According to Scott Young‘s “Learn More, Study Less” online courses (I joined, and I will share this in my later posts). He mentioned a awesome idea about goal achievement, that we should focus on “action goal” rather than “result goal”.

Because future is always unexpected, uncontrollable stuffs are always come up. Even though you follow all the steps, try your best, you might turn out to be failed at achieving the end results (e.g. get lower grade when you want a ‘A’ grade).

The whole thing of personal development is about the process, not the result. You are successful if you did what you have to do.


My personal goals are:

1, Self-study on Philosophy by following open course material (inspired by Scott Young’ MIT Challenge ) ,or I might decided to pick up my Linguistics study again, not confirmed yet. In order to achieve this, I made up a list of short-term goals, including:

English enhancement: English is my 2nd language, it is necessary to have sufficient English level if I want to study Arts subject.

  • Doing exercises at least 2 units in English grammar book daily (it should be completed at the end of April2012)
  • Writing daily: I would keep writing this blog, and tried to publish 2 times weekly. Writing habits can helps with improving my writing ability.
  • Building vocabularies: I will memorize 3 vocabularies on each day, thus I might learnt nearly 100 words!
  • Reading English material for at least 20 mins everyday: I am not going to set this too high, since sometimes I really have no time for reading.

Study Skill: I don’t want to loss my passion on learning! Effective study skill can drive the successful rate.

  • As mentioned, I enrolled at the video course of  “Learn More, Study Less” from Scott Young. He teaches a lot on how to learn. I would follow to see how it works on me.
Philosophy Study: My primary ideas is by referring to the open courses material, I am going to study “24.01 Classics in Western Philosophy” (from MIT)
Linguistics Study: Pick up the “The Structure of Modern English” from OUHK, that I dropped (family issue) years before.

2, Improve my financial status: Save certain amount (nondisclosure) for cash flow backup: I’ve reviewed on my normal expenses and set up a new plan for saving.

Theses two are my two major goals. Of course I will keep reviewing on them and implement with the techniques I learnt.


One thought on “Interesting arguments: Goal vs No Goal?!

  1. Pingback: Making productivity: to-do tasks « Self Help in Personal Development

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