Back in grade 5, I had an assignment where I had write goals for the coming school year.  Being an inquisitive kid, I clearly remember questioning the usefulness of writing down my goals (I was a skeptical kid… or maybe just lazy).  My thinking was that if I wrote down a concrete goal, doesn’t that just limit my potential by just working hard enough to achieve that goal?  Being a bit older and hopefully a bit wiser, I think I’ve come to understand the utility of making goals.

One of the problem with this argument is that goals do not limit what you can achieve.  In fact they do the opposite, they help you achieve things that are too distant to be tangible.  Concrete goals can give you a tangible outcome that you can both achieve and celebrate.  This is incredibly important as humans generally have problems with long term thinking so intermittent achievements, and more importantly celebrations, can give you way points to help you along the way.  For me, I’ve found this incredibly useful (and necessary).  I continue to use this strategy to achieve my longer term ambitions (e.g. PhD).

So with the year almost finished, let’s remember to celebrate the goals that we’ve made, the goals that we’ve achieved and the goals that are going to lead us into the new year.  Happy new year!