Setting Goals

Chess Grandmaster Garry Kasparov won his first world-championship chess match in 1985 and went on to dominate the chess world for several decades. In his book he shares this thought:

A Grandmaster makes the best moves because they are based on what he wants the board to look like ten or twenty moves in the future.

I was challenged by this idea in an essay by Mark Batterson on setting life goals. As Batterson correctly points out, so many of us spend more time planning our next vacation than we do planning our lives. It’s clearly no surprise that our lives don’t turn out like we hoped when we haven’t even put time aside to write down or think about what we might want our life to end up like in the first place.

If you can’t tell, I’m guilty of this myself, and so I started out on a journey to document and make public the goals that I have for my life. But when I started down this road I was greeted by two interesting surprises:

  1. I already had a surprising number of goals in my head — I called them ‘wishes’.
  2. Writing down my goals produced an uncanny motivation to start achieving them.

To be clear, I wasn’t making up goals from thin air; no, these were things I have had many conversations about, spent time dreaming about, and maybe even researched a bit over the years. But before I wrote them down, I wasn’t accountable to them. I couldn’t fail at my goals because I hadn’t officially made any.

So, here are my goals, and here’s my 30-minute challenge for you:

  1. Take 10 minutes and read Mark’s essay.
  2. Take 20 minutes and write down some goals of your own.

I think you might be surprised how much 30 minutes will motivate you.


Now read this


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