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November 3, 2023

A typewriter with the words goals.


Do you have any long-term goals? Before you read the following sentence, answer the opening question.

Perhaps you contemplated fitness, familial, and financial targets on a five to ten-year timeline. Is there a spiritual component? How will you measure your success?

The intro is intentional because I have some advice to help you create or revisit goals. Although I will extract ideas from my experiences, it doesn’t mean I expect you to see my life as a model for you to follow.

Every week, I aim to hit the center of your core with guidance toward a more purposeful existence. The decision to take my literary hand from these blog posts is up to you.

About 11 years ago, I read that by age 40, many people figure out what they want to do. The book didn't claim inevitable prosperity. It argued that health, relationships, money, and other measures of success require tremendous work ethic, passion, perseverance, purpose, opportunities, and drive steered by clearly defined goals.

I wish I could share the book's name with you or the author. Both slip my mind, but you can find another resource that preaches something similar. Try Steven Kotler's 2023 book Gnar Country: Growing Old, Staying Rad; he proposes that we can achieve match quality by age 40 or the point in our lives when we get paid for alignment with passion, purpose, autonomy, and mastery.

With a YouTube search of motivational speeches, a video will also populate and cover middle-age expectations.

Consume resources that support personal and professional growth.

When I learned about the “by age 40” argument, I added a list of goals to my phone’s calendar to achieve before November 3, 2022. Every day at 5:30 AM, I received a notification with the goals I wanted to accomplish for more than a decade.

It’s November 3, 2023. Last year, I turned 40. God willing, tomorrow, I will wake up to age 41 and start my day by writing and running an 11K road race.

Have I accomplished every goal that became a daily reminder more than ten years ago? No. I've made progress in the overarching categories but have yet to achieve everything.

Realizing there’s more to do makes life purposeful and meaningful.

Every day presents an opportunity to make strides toward internal and external goals. If you're reading this post, consider yourself blessed. You have time to make things happen for you, your family, and your community.

Someone did not wake up this morning. Perhaps you have a close family member or friend who recently transitioned. Last month, Ronnie Caldwell, a 22-year-old football player at Northwestern State, was shot and killed by his roommate.

Did a recent death in your circle make you pause and contemplate life? If so, you're not alone. Every time someone near me passes away, I sit and think about priorities.

With violent conflicts in Palestine, Israel, and perhaps your backyard, there’s ample opportunity for concerns about the grave. College campuses throughout the US increased security measures after recent events in Gaza.

You have a plethora of morbid motivation to do something with your life.

Let's move from this section to something livelier.

Recently, one of my aunties celebrated her 70th birthday. Another aunt posted pictures of the party on Facebook. I wanted to be there, but expenses and the distance prevented traveling to Chicago.

If moving abroad is one of your long-term goals, research airfare and plan accordingly.

Being absent for family functions happens every year. We’ve missed plenty of birthday parties, the birth of babies, graduation ceremonies, and funerals.

Do I have moments of regret? Yes, but over time, I accept that I can't be there for everything and everyone.

Some goals mandate isolation. For example, writing ten books before age 50 is one of my long-term goals. With three books in print, two in digital form, and a novel on the way, I am progressing toward this professional goal. I can’t accept every social invitation and maintain my writing schedule.

I’m working on finding an agent for representation in the publishing industry. I signed up for a writing course/challenge with a professional author, contacted several writers, and sent cold emails to literary agents. No luck yet, but keep reading these blog posts for updates.

Please respond to this blog post if you know an agent accepting clients.

Now that you’ve had time to process your long-term goals, let’s get serious about the daily tasks necessary for achievement. Write them down and share them with a friend or mentor. You can also leave them in the comments below.

Going public with your goals supports accountability.

You may be under 40 or on the other side; it’s never too late to think, plan, and act on your goals. Subscribe here for encouragement along the path to destiny.


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Halloween prompts me to chime in with Goals not Ghouls. Let our goals be worthy, helpful, and occasionally profitable. Alice in Wonderland has the line, 'If we don't know where we are heading, any direction is OK.' I think we may need to reset out goals once we attain one, be flexible and insightful of what will be our next steps. Will someone or some others be benefitted.

Vernon C. Lindsay, PhD
Vernon C. Lindsay, PhD

Excellent advice! Flexibility with goals is fundamental to long-term success.

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