Are goals even necessary? 

I devoted the last month to searching for goals. Deep down, what is it that I really want out of life? A 30 day experiment would be a good challenge to try to find those goals.

I’m not a self help guru, so I won’t lie about the miraculous transformation that it led to. It didn’t, but here’s what I learned:

Self experiment

I used the self interview method to write 5 goal-related questions every morning for 5 days. As soon as I opened my eyes, vision still blurry, 5 questions were forced into reality. Emphasis on forced, because your brain does not want to do this at 5 am. I had to develop a high tolerance for some pretty bad questions.

Five days in, and armed with 25 goal-related questions, I now applied the same method to answering them. One question a day, for 25 long days.

It wasn’t fun. But it’s finally done.

Takeaways

  • The idea that one day you’ll wake up and somehow know your deep desires is a myth. Finding yourself is a long and sometimes painful journey. A 30 day challenge can provide some insight, but will only scratch the surface.
  • Goals change. My goals in this 30-day snapshot are completely different from 5 years ago, and will be different 5 years from now. That said, some themes did come to light.
  • If nothing else, I found some more awesome questions to ask anyone. Such as:  What goal would you have if you were given one year to live, and you weren’t allowed to spend it with your family or friends?  If you were just finishing high school, knowing how what you know now, what would your college goals be? 
  • Try the experiment. It’s a great practice in consistency, and will help you understand yourself a little bit better. We can all use that insight.

The Questions

For those interested, here’s the full list of questions:

  1. What goal would you have if you were fired tomorrow?
  2. What goal would you have if you were given one year to live, and you weren’t allowed to spend it with your family or friends.
  3. What goal would you have if you were broke but completely happy with being so?
  4. What goal would you have if money didn’t exist?
  5. If you had athletic goals, what would they be?
  6. What is my financial goal once I get out of debt? 
  7. What are my ideal physical goals? 
  8. Do you have career goals, what and why? 
  9. Marriage goals, why? 
  10. What would my goals be once I’m running a company? 
  11. What are your learning goals in the next year? 
  12. What are your learning goals in the next 5?
  13. How can someone discover what their goals are in life? 
  14. How can I measure if it truly is a goal? 
  15. What is an altruistic goal you have? 
  16. If you were just finishing high school, knowing how what you know now, what would your college goals be? 
  17. What are your income goals? 
  18. What are realistic career goals? 
  19. What are your ambitious career goals? 
  20. What mainstream goals do you like? 
  21. What goals in life do you think will bring you peace or tranquility? 
  22. What do you think are hurdles to pursuing your goals?
  23. What do you think is the ares that will help propel you to your goals? 
  24. If not goals, then what? 
  25. Why should you have goals?