February 13, 2022

Set Goals as if You’re Alive

Because you are.

Alive, that is. You’re breathing, living — you’re right here in this moment reading a stranger’s thoughts laid out on an atomic post.

I’ve shared what I learned from prolific creators about setting goals within our control, focusing on skills development, and now, here’s another interesting take.

Never set a goal that a dead person can do better than you” — Mike Crittenden

This is for you if you ever wanted to:

  • Stop drinking too much soda
  • Stop bingeing Netflix shows in one day (How many hours did it take you to finish All of Us Are Dead?)
  • Stop complaining

This type of goals is what a dead person can do better than you.

They couldn’t drink soda, binge the latest show, or complain. So when setting goals, the keyword to avoid is “stop.”

The alternative to this is going deeper as to why you want to quit something. And then focus on that. Here’s how I tweaked my very own “stop” goals to apply this concept:

  • Drink tea and fruit juices more often
  • Allocate Netflix time to reading
  • Write 3 things I’m grateful for every day

Doing this made me more excited to achieve said goals — not dreadful. Pretty effective in avoiding reactance bias too.

PS: I stole the main idea of this atomic essay from Mike Crittenden — who stole it from Russ Harris. Oh, the wonders of learning from one another!

PPS: This post stemmed from my atomic essay How to Set Goals According to Prolific Creators. You can read it here if you’re interested. Thanks for reading! 👏

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