episode #53. does goal setting work?

learn to start setting (and getting) goals like a champ.

On today's episode of The Meaningful Show Podcast, we'll be talking about goals... (Because it'll never get old, and there will ALWAYS be questions about how to set goals in the most effective and efficient way possible)

More specifically, we'll be discussing whether goal setting actually works. Take a peak at today's self-improvement question and click the 'play' button to start streaming today's episode...

listener question:

Hi Dean, I have really just stumped onto your book and podcast and am really enjoying it right now. I love the scientific methodology you apply to your recommendations and the drive to find what really works. 

My question relates to goals. I’m split between two different methods or ways of approaching the process of goal-setting. On one hand there are claims that goals drive improvement, focus and results..

However, some recent research suggests goals are actually harmful: they hinder creativity by demanding focus, are stressful by their presence (checklists) and lead to guilt and stress when (almost inevitably) there is something you did not achieve.

I have not made any resolutions this year as I am genuinely confused on this issue but I would really value your insight if you have the time? Do you see goals as crucial? Thanks already for all your help. 


- Jonathan Day

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show notes


big ideas & insights

* Heuristic vs. Algorithmic ways of thinking and approaching tasks and goals. 

  • Heuristic = Creative thinking. Designed to have many potential outcomes/scenarios/solutions/perspectives (ex: a painting; an essay on Stoic philosophy.)
  • Algorithmic = Methodical and mathematic systems of thinking designed with only one potential outcome/answer/solution/method (ex: 2 + 2 = 4)

* Goals vs. Roles vs. Dimensions

* How to combine Heuristic thinking with Algorithmic thinking to drill down on what you want to achieve and design a successful system of goal setting that meets your own unique wants/needs/desires.

books + media mentioned

The ONE Thing by Gary Keller


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