Life is nothing without goals: 2008

Yesterday, I talked with my friend Steven. We’ve been friends for many, many years. However, he has selected a much different path than mine, and we haven’t talked much recently. The main thing that struck me from our conversation is that he doesn’t know what to do with his life. What to spend his time on, what kind of job to get, what kind of life to live. He’s taking some time off from school, and it’s mainly for the purpose of finding a job. But he has only vague ideas of the job he’s seeking. My impression was that he needed motivation.


I recently picked up this small booklet from a local Target retailer. It was a great read, especially for a disorganized person like me. (Note, though, that organization is learned, not inherited.) A good portion of the book talks about setting very specific plans, missions, and goals for cleaning up and organizing. Why do they spend so much time on such trivial talk, when they could instead be getting down to the nitty gritty techniques that really make a difference? (These techniques are also included.)

It’s because goals matter. Goals by themselves don’t do anything, but doing things by itself doesn’t accomplish any goals. And if you’re not accomplishing any goals, then it’s very hard to move forward. Here’s what Organizing for Dummies has to say about making better use of your time:

Take a red pen and circle anything that was, in light of your values and goals, a waste of time, even a meeting with your boss or a phone call to a friend. How can you get these time wasters out of your day? (38, emphasis mine)

You can’t make decisions about what to do without values and goals. So with that mind, here are my goals for 2008, in rough order of desire:

Spend at least 1 hour per day with at least 1 friend.

Visit Hong Kong.

Have a $1000 AdSense day.

Have a 4.0 GPA semester.

More on these later…

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