Goals Can Change Your Life… Or Not

January 9, 2021 by Charlie Hedges − 0 Comments

The purpose of goals is not to improve the future… Judge a goal by how well it changes your actions in the present moment.” Derek Sivers, Hell Yeah or No: What’s Worth Doing

Yes. I am a dreamer. But, I also believe that my dreams must begin today for who knows anything about tomorrow?

You Are Who You Have Been Becoming

Today I am much less concerned about the future than I am with the present. I am hearkened to think back on the words of Lanson Ross: “You are who you have been becoming.”

In fact, Lanson’s words to me have become a life mantra. Tomorrow is totally dependent on the actions, attitudes, and events of today. For that reason you can imagine my delight in reading the words of Derek Sivers in his most recent book, Hell Yeah or No. Derek reminds me that if my “Annual Goals or Intentions” do not impact my life in the present moment they are most likely vacuous imaginings that will never come to fruition.

Checking In

Many readers already know that my wife and I carve out a couple days at the end of every year to review the previous year with a view toward reordering our Intentions for the year to come. Of course, we agree on things like budgets and vacations. But two considerations keep us coming back to the process: We ask other other (1) What kind of husband (or wife) was I last year? And (2) we talk about our personal Intentions for the year?

After more than 25 years of devoting a couple days to annual planning I can assure you these times are immensely profitable for our marriage and our personal lives! We have learned to be truthful as well as reasonable, refraining from taking on unrealistic goals. This is no time for BHAGs (Big Hairy Assed Goals). Simplicity and impact drive our efforts.


So what is our process? A couple decades ago I was introduced to a process called Start-Stop-Continue. Such a helpful framework to reflect upon. What are those new intentions I would like to Start in 2021; what do I need to Stop doing; and which of my actions and character traits that are worthy of Continuing.

In retrospect I find the words of Derek Sivers resonating deeply within my heart. If my future goals are not evident in my present daily life, then what good are they?

Remember, who you are today is who you will grow to be tomorrow. Your Annual Goals are only as good as they impact your life today.

Thank you Derek Sivers for the reminder!

If You Don’t Start Today

It’s Likely You Won’t Start Tomorrow

Photo courtesy of takasuu at istockphoto


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