• 2011 Resolution #3: Read 100 Unread Books

    In an effort to talk about the power of goal-setting along with some methods of setting and achieving goals, I’m going to discuss my three resolutions for 2011 this week. Over time, any voracious reader winds up with a list of books that they intend to read someday, but they find themselves reading more urgent …

  • 2011 Resolution #2: Play Music

    In an effort to talk about the power of goal-setting along with some methods of setting and achieving goals, I’m going to discuss my three resolutions for 2011 this week. Another of my 2010 resolutions was to learn to play the piano, which is something I feel is coming along very well. For 2011, I’ve …

  • 2011 Resolution #1: Get Fit

    In an effort to talk about the power of goal-setting along with some methods of setting and achieving goals, I’m going to discuss my three resolutions for 2011 this week. As many of you remember, I set a weight loss goal for 2010 that I exactly halfway achieved. I’m happy with that partial success. What …

  • How Did My 2010 Resolutions Go?

    As 2010 draws to a close, it’s time to take a look at my resolutions for the year and see how they’ve gone. 1. Lose 40 pounds Result: Partial success What do I mean by partial success? I mean that I did lose weight during 2010 and made it halfway to my goal by losing …

  • HealthMonth, Your Month

    Recently, a good friend of mine convinced me to sign up for HealthMonth, a website that aims to turn the self-motivation needed to improve one’s health into a fun game (you can see my HealthMonth profile and goals). It works quite simply: you set certain goals for yourself throughout the month – “I will floss …

  • Running in Place? 14 Ways to Break Free

    When we set big, lofty goals for ourselves, it’s really easy to find ourselves at a plateau of sorts, where it feels like we’re spinning our wheels but not really heading upward towards our end target. I’ll share two examples of this from my own life. I’ve been working on a novel pretty consistently for …

  • Gifts and Choices

    Recently, I came across (via jason kottke) a brilliant commencement speech given at Princeton by Jeff Bezos, CEO and founder of Amazon. The main focus of Bezos’ speech was the difference between gifts and choices. Here’s an excerpt: What I want to talk to you about today is the difference between gifts and choices. Cleverness …

  • Setting Goals with Your Partner

    As I’ve said many times on here, my wife and I have a small handful of major goals that we share going forward in our lives. We both want to eventually live in the country with some wooded area and a small barn. We both want to focus on raising our children as well as …

  • Separating Your Goals and Choices from Other People

    Winners compare their achievements with their goals, while losers compare their achievements with those of other people. – Nido Qubein I spent the first twenty five years of my life mostly pushing forward on goals created by other people. When I was in school, I was told that grades were the only thing that mattered. …

  • My Five Year Goals

    One suggestion I frequently give to readers who write in unsure what to do with their money is to plot out some long term goals. The big question I usually ask them to think about is where would you like to be in five years? Over the last few months, my wife and I have …

  • 2010 Resolution #4: Reduce My Entertainment and Hobby Spending by 50%

    In an effort to talk about the power of goal-setting along with some methods of setting and achieving goals, I’m going to discuss my four resolutions for 2010 this week. In 2009, I really overspent on my hobbies. My board game collection expanded significantly. I picked up several new video games and computer games. I …

  • 2010 Resolution #3: Learn to Play the Piano/Keyboard

    In an effort to talk about the power of goal-setting along with some methods of setting and achieving goals, I’m going to discuss my four resolutions for 2010 this week. For several years, a keyboard has sat in our basement, gathering dust. I’ve looked at it often and wished I could play it, but the …

  • 2010 Resolution #2: Pay Cash for a Replacement for My Truck

    In an effort to talk about the power of goal-setting along with some methods of setting and achieving goals, I’m going to discuss my four resolutions for 2010 this week. In 2001, I purchased a used 1997 Ford F-150 pickup truck. Over the ensuing eight years, I put nearly 120,000 miles on that truck. As …

  • 2010 Resolution #1: Lose 40 Pounds

    In an effort to talk about the power of goal-setting along with some methods of setting and achieving goals, I’m going to discuss my four resolutions for 2010 this week. I’m overweight. One of the biggest reasons for this is hypothyroidism, something I’ve had literally since I was born (and have treated with medication since …

  • Investing without Goals Is Like Golfing without a Putter…

    … you might make some general progress, but when you finally come close to the target, it will be very difficult for you to hit that shot. Time and time again, people write to me and ask questions about how they should be investing their money. “I have $5,000 in savings – how should I …

  • Is This All There Is?

    “Matthew” writes in with a thought-provoking concern: I’m only 37, but lately I’ve come to the realization that I may be having a mid-life crisis. To even write it down feels stupid and cliche’, but I think it best explains what I’ve been feeling. I don’t want to bore you with the details. How this …

  • Painting a Specific Future – And Figuring Out How to Get There

    A few weeks ago, my wife and children and I spent the weekend visiting several members of her extended family. On the final morning of the visit, I sat around the kitchen table with my wife’s grandfather and uncle and the conversation turned to the future. Her uncle turned to me and said, “What do …

  • Do Personal Goals Have a Dangerous Side?

    A recent Boston Globe article entitled “Ready, Aim… Fail” discusses the failure of setting a major goal at GM: In the early years of this decade, General Motors had a goal, and it was 29. Determined to boost its flagging profits and reverse a long, steady fall from postwar dominance, the automotive giant did the …

  • A Step-By-Step Guide to Making Big Goals Achievable

    Here are a few recent emails I’ve received. From Connie: Over the last few years, I’ve taught myself to play acoustic guitar and lately I’ve started writing a lot of songs. I’d like to record them and share them with others and maybe eventually start playing concerts, but every time I think about it, I …