Sunday, 3 January 2016

2016 Goals - Remember, trying is the first step towards failure...

With an acknowledgement to Homer Simpson, for the excellent piece of lifestyle advice in the title.

It's the time of year when many bloggers are writing detailed reviews about their last year's personal and lifestyle goals, and either congratulating themselves or indulging in self-flagellation depending on their degree of success.  

And then setting out even more ambitious plans for the year ahead.   Some I've read mention up to 25 goals for the year - that averages out at two per month.  

Cut yourself some slack, FFS !  

Where's the benefit in, for example, aiming to read a particular number of new self-help books each month ?  Or to commit to writing a minimum number of blog posts ?  Or cycling an arbitrary number of miles each week ?  What's wrong with simply doing as much as you feel like at the time - why is it desirable that every peripheral activity in your life should be forecasted and measured ?   Can you really predict what your motivational levels will be on each of the next 360-odd days, and that's not counting the times when you might be feeling under the weather, or you simply end up doing other things. 

For the record, my own 2016 Goals are as follows :-
  • Generally drift along as I've done happily for many years
  • Do a bit of paid work when it's available, hopefully with a few trips to interesting locations included
  • Get up when I wake up, with only a rude awakening from an alarm clock when it's absolutely unavoidable
  • Take a few holidays
  • Grow some vegetables and flowers
  • Maybe build something in the garden, or maybe not
  • Maybe mess around with new projects or experiments
  • Play a bit of golf when the weather's fine
  • Take afternoon naps whenever I feel like it
  • Save the money that's left after I've bought all the things I need / want

Let's hope I can achieve all these goals ...


  1. Yes I've noticed a trend toward, erm "over management" in PF lately. It's not quite clear in my head whether it's a subversive use of management techniques or institutionalisation.

    This year I shall be pottering. I don't have any metrics for it. The ambiguity of my success / failure won't be causing me any sleepless nights and I doubt I'll report my progress.

    All the best in your your endeavours this year.

    1. Yes, I think that institutional brainwashing has a lot to do with the mindset of the over-zealous goalsetters - all that reading of management theory and self-help books which suggest you need to continually review your life and set yourself pointless measurable tasks, such as reading even more books on management theory and self-help...

  2. I think you have it bang on sir!

    After having set myself far too many goals for the last 2 years I am pulling back the reins a bit this year and chilling out on it all.

    I'll still have a couple of overarching targets (financial ones) and maybe a couple more personal ones, but they'll be pretty vague I reckon.

    Rebelling against all this SMART goal setting nonsense is going to feel good I reckon :)

    The whole point of getting to FI is so you can relax and do what you want so what's the point in breaking your neck on the way to the destination?


  3. I love this. I've been looking askance at some of the goal setting bloggers...but then part of me is wondering if they are on to something. I think a bit of considered planning of time to ensure you are doing the things that are important to you is probably helpful. In my own case, I set myself a target of making a decision about leaving work by my milestone birthday, and I do think this has actually got me out of a constant circling motion and into some forward momentum! I have no problem planning, but follow through leaves something to be desired. So my main goal/objective for 2016 is:'just take the next step'. have no problem planning stuff, just im

  4. You forgot to say "keep pigs".