February 11, 2022

Set Goals Within Your Control

What are your top three goals for the year?

Last January, I downloaded haatch and set mine:

  1. Build my email list from 40 to 1,000 (sounds familiar?)
  2. Make $10k from side projects (heard this song before?)
  3. Gain 1,000 Medium followers

I felt good about it, like I was on the right track. Until I read Dylan Redekop’s Growth Currency newsletter (the last edition of 2021).

He talked about focusing on things we can control because we “can’t force people to subscribe. Nor can [we] force people to read [our] work, follow [us] on Twitter, listen to [our] podcast or watch [our] TikToks.”

He wrapped his points up with an encouraging note:

The more you do the things you do have control over, the more the other things will follow. With just a little intention, quantity will lead to quality.

Subscribe to Growth Currency here. (Unsponsored — I just love his work!)

I thought about this and reread his email. After a few days, I edited my list of goals to this:

  1. Send 24 high-quality, written-from-the-heard Love Notes (my newsletter) this year
  2. Create 1 Gumroad product every quarter
  3. Publish 100 atomic essays

Dylan’s view on goal-setting reminded me of the stoic philosopher Epictetus.

“Happiness and freedom begin with a clear understanding of one principle: Some things are within our control, and some things are not. It is only after you have faced up to this fundamental rule and learned to distinguish between what you can and can’t control that inner tranquility and outer effectiveness become possible.” ―Epictetus, The Art of Living: The Classical Manual on Virtue, Happiness and Effectiveness

This post stemmed from my atomic essay How to Set Goals According to Prolific Creators. Read it here if you haven’t yet. Thanks for reading!

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