On Setting Lifetime Goals

2 min read

There are a few things I want to do forever. Not for the next 3 months, 3 years, or 3 decades, but literally forever until I physically can’t do them anymore. Not because I want to “get” anywhere or “achieve” anything, but just because the act of doing them feels so rewarding and energizing. I have a short list of these things:

Lifting weights. I lift weights six days a week. I don’t follow any specific schedule and I don’t train to compete on a bodybuilding stage or at a weightlifting competition. I lift purely because it’s enjoyable. And that’s it.

Lifting gives me a point to plan my day around. It also gives me an excuse to constantly look up new songs and create new playlists to get hyped to while lifting. I even like the feeling of being exhausted after lifting.

Writing. I can’t remember where I first heard this, but the phrase “I don’t like writing as much as I like having written” resonates deeply with me. I write every single day. Some days I’m “feeling it” while other days I’m not. But no matter how I’m feeling, I show up and write something. And the feeling that I get after writing for 2-3 hours in the morning is incredible. It gives me a great start to the day.

As for blogging, I don’t really have any specific goals. I don’t have an exact number of page views or income or any other metric I want to hit. I write simply because it’s enjoyable and I want to keep writing every single day forever. Not for the next 6 months or 6 years, but literally forever until I’m incapable of typing. 

Coding Data Visualizations. Whether it’s making charts in Excel, designing financial apps, or creating interactive JavaScript visualizations, I love data viz. I love learning new techniques, implementing new lines of code, and trying to work through challenging problems. 

Again, I don’t have any specific goals or quotas I want to hit with coding. I simply enjoy the act of writing code, creating new visualizations, and sharing them with people.

I enjoy lifting, writing, and coding purely because the acts themselves make me feel energized and fulfilled. It’s why each of these three things are part of my daily routine.

I realize that it’s odd to declare that I want to do these things forever, but the more I think about it, the more it makes sense. In an age where most people set monthly, quarterly, or yearly goals, what’s wrong with setting lifetime goals?

And goals might not be the right word. It’s more like lifelong habits:

Write every single day until I die.

Lift weights six days a week until I physically can’t.

Learn a new piece of code every single day for the rest of my life.

My favorite part about setting lifetime goals is that I can technically never fail. For example, as a blogger the page views will come and go. One month you might be featured in a major publication and the next you may only get a pat on the back from your mom. But if you’re someone who has decided to do something forever purely because you enjoy it, well, the attention doesn’t matter anymore. You write blog posts because the act itself is a joy.

I’d love to be like Jack Lalanne and work out six days a week well into my nineties until I can’t move anymore. Or like Jiro Ono, who still makes world-class sushi at age 92. Or Charlie Munger, who still spends hours each day looking for new investments for Berkshire Hathaway at age 94.

Because sometimes it’s not about achieving any 6-month, 3-year or 5-year goal. Sometimes the act itself brings enough fulfillment. So why not vow to do those things you love for your entire life? No specific goals to hit or milestones to reach. Just a commitment to do the things you enjoy forever purely because they bring you joy.

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2 Replies to “On Setting Lifetime Goals”

  1. Nothing wrong with setting life goals. But even more amazing for you is that a) you found out what you love to do and b) you do these things every day.

    Looks to me like a recipe for a happy and fulfilling life.

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