Goal Setting: Focus on Long Term Goals

goal setting long term Jan 09, 2020

Reflecting back on the past decade this week, realized I had done and accomplished a lot.

Scuba dove with Hammerhead Sharks

Swam with a 30 ft Whale Shark

Hiked nearly 2 dozen volcanoes

Became proficient in yoga, photography, and writing.

Cut out junk food, then processed foods, after that beef & chicken, shortly after, dairy, sweets, chocolate, then slowly fish. I’d still treat myself to fish or sushi once a week, but that's out now, so is gluten, and now I eat only fruits, vegetables, and nuts, mainly raw.

Through all of this, learned something important, and that is, focus on the long term.

Pick aspirations you plan to stick with long term

When comparing humans to animals, we have a lot of similarities.

In fact, there are whole fields of psychology dedicated to studying animal behavior to understand human behavior.

Though there are key differences between animals and humans.

One key difference is most animals come pre-programmed with a set level of skills and abilities.

They are born doing it.

Because they are born with the skill, they don’t lose it. It’s wired into their DNA.

Humans, have to learn everything


Even how to walk and talk.

This has advantages, because it allows us to learn more skills and adapt to more things.

Though it has disadvantages too. The main disadvantage is,

If we don’t use a skill, we lose it

There is a concept in personal development called use it or lose it. If you don’t use something, you lose it, sometimes at an exponential rate.
The mind and body are complex systems, and like all systems, they are constrained by resources and energy.

Maintaining a physically fit body requires tremendous calories. If the muscles aren’t going to be used, then it doesn’t serve the body to keep them.

The same applies to skills. It takes mental resources - resources that can't be used for other things - to maintain skills. If they are not going to be maintained, the mind begins letting them go for something else.

That means…
You are either growing or regressing

There is no in between.

There is no, I’ll work hard to learn something for 3 months, then keep it forever.

There is no, I’ll diet and exercise for 6 months and be thin for the rest of my life.

That’s not the way the mind and body are built.

In fact, the quicker you develop or achieve a goal, the quicker you’ll lose it.

That’s why it helps to focus on the long-term goals

If it's going to take work to develop or achieve something, and you will lose it by not sticking with it, it reasons that you want to pick things you plan to stick with for an extended period.

There is a lot of talk around being a fast learner, getting quick results, or achieving things yesterday. These are all great, but there is a drawback to fast and quick results. You could learn something quickly, but if you’re not applying it regularly, you’ll lose it quickly as well.

I spent a lot of time to learn photography quickly, but because I didn't stick with it, I lost most of what I learned. Because I stuck with diet, I have more to show for it.

What’s the point of putting in all that hard work if it will be lost so quickly?


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