I used to think goals were a waste of time. Not always, as I used to love setting new ones every month, but my obsession with having new goals all the time birthed a toxic devotion to “success” that made me put too much pressure on myself to do “more”. What always made it worse was constantly talking to my friends about every goal I wanted to reach. Ever been there?
Goals are fantastic—and I’ve been wrong about them. To get the best out of myself in every plan, the type of goal you set is more important than you realise
Enter horizon goals.
What are they?
They’re goals with near to no end. Because the focus isn’t about reaching the end. You set them to give yourself something to work on continuously—to a point where you can forget about them and focus on moving forward each week.
You could also call them process goals.
But what makes them better?
With horizon goals, progress is the metric. Continuous effort is what matters. Because you’ll reach your destination anyway, sure, quality does matter when we want to improve—but consistency will keep you going. This is the foundation of continuous improvement.
My goals are primarily continuous; everything I want to achieve will come from small, repeatable habits and actions that I must do every day.
I still have one or two arbitrary goals, such as reaching a certain number of subscribers to Self-mastery this year. But I prefer to ‘set and forget’ them.
If you’re finding it hard to reach a goal, have a look at your priorities within that goal. Are you trying to achieve one thing or complete continuous actions over time? A great example is when losing weight; the number you want to reach should never be the focus—the completed workouts should.
Focus on input over output. Make your goal to do something daily, weekly, monthly. Health, work, and inner-directed goals work best with an end on the horizon. Because while you may have a destination set in stone, focus on what’s right in front of you. You’ll reach your outcome either way.
What I’ve Learned This Week
Responsibility equals meaning
Mastery stems from purpose, meaning, and responsibility. When we have a responsibility to care for ourselves and others, a light appears. That light tells us we now have a sense of fulfilment we can accept if we want it. And it shows us a way towards a life that gives us happiness, peace, opportunity, and a sense of achievement. In other words: find what you want to do in life, and give yourself the responsibility to get there.
What’s on My Mind
I doubt anyone knows, but you’ll no longer find me on Medium. I know most of my readers here found me through my blog there. To be honest and transparent, my account is suspended due to a mistake I made. I took too much inspiration from another writer, which Medium didn’t like.
Though the other writer and I are all good, it’s not enough.
I feel dejected since a year and a half’s work is gone. But there is a silver lining. I’ll be starting a small paid newsletter for anyone to support me directly if they want—rather than Medium taking the cut. It won’t interfere with Self-mastery and will focus on deep dives in Health, fitness, exercise, and so on, as I know that’s what many of you read first from me.
I don’t have a name, so you can email me any ideas you have if you like! Through the email platform I use, I’ll put it at the minimum fee (I think it’s $5 a month or something), which will help me have the time to write more for you.
Sorry for the ramble. This is a bit of a scary and exciting moment, and I want to use your input and feedback to help offer the best writing community around mastery and health that I can.
People’s achievements are more limited by their personality than by their natural abilities.
— François Chollet
“Creativity is a process, not an event. It's not just a eureka moment. You have to work through mental barriers and internal blocks. You have to commit to practicing your craft deliberately. And you have to stick with the process for years, perhaps even decades like Newton did, in order to see your creative genius blossom.”
→ Creativity Is a Process, Not an Event — by James Clear
My Favourite Things This Week
- My mini-essay on why recreation is an opportunity for re-creation
- My mini-essay on the power of the present moment
Thank you for being a part of this, have a great week.