Why You Need Crazy and Concrete Goals

Why You Need Crazy and Concrete Goals

Sep 14, 2018

Goals add urgency to your life and give you purpose. When I turned 29, I had a young-life-crisis: “Next year I’m going to hit the big 3-0 — wtf do I have to show for it?” I didn’t feel as independent and free to do as I pleased like I thought I would’ve felt at that point. For example, (1) though I love entrepreneurship, freelancing as a software developer, and teaching, I didn’t really have a clear career path (2) I was still living at home and didn’t own any property. Whenever I thought about turning 30, I’d become a low-key Debbie Downer and feel like I had been screwing around too much. Then one random day I wondered: “where did you want to be at this point in your life? Be specific.” I didn't have any real answers. So then how could I possibly get worked over not being somewhere if I didn’t even know where exactly I wanted to go?

Mind blowing, right? My goals were hella airy so yeah, I was basically upset with the air. Let me show you the difference between having airy goals with those that are specific and measurable like a few of the ones that I have now:

Old, Airy Goals New, Specific Goals
1 I want to own a house In the next decade, I’m going to buy five multifamily properties
3 I want to have financial freedom By December 2020, I will make $20K a month
4 I want to travel the world Every year, I’m going to visit two places I haven’t been to before
5 I want to live life on my own terms/doing what I love
  • Since I love creating and building apps/products, especially those that can make a great impact in the lives of others, I’m going to be a software developer at a firm by the end of this year (I wrote this blog post before I started working at AD:60!)
  • By December 2019, I’m going to host five Harlem Spelling Bee competitions with a growing registrant list and obtain at least one sponsorship/partnership for each
6 I want to become the Dominican Chef-Your-Boy-D and learn from my parents/aunts/abuela how to throw it down in the kitchen By Spring 2019, I’m going to be able to make eight tastyass family dishes like moro, steak, chicken, sancocho, mac & cheese, spaghetti, yuca, and pastelon

After I realized what my mistake was, I suddenly wasn’t so hard on myself and in a strange way, was more at peace. Again, how could I be mad at myself for not being where I wanted to be (airy af) if I didn’t know exactly what I was shooting for (concrete af: clear and measurable). Yeah, I wasn’t and am not exactly where I want to be, but at least now I have a much stronger focus and sense of direction with targets to hit on my journey towards achieving those goals.

Take a moment to think about what meaningful goals you've set for yourself. Are they airy or concrete?

So now that you have goals, what does it mean to have scary goals? If you read all of my goals above like the one about owning five properties in the next decade or turning the Harlem Spelling Bee competition into the most recognized spelling bee in the world (yes, more popular than Scripp’s National Spelling Bee, which has been around since 1927), you might’ve smiled uneasily and thought, “yeah right, you’re crazy, good luck with that, buddy”. Shit, I smile uneasily, too, but I’ll tell you what: I’m 112% more excited about working toward lofty goals like those than working on ones that are more realistic such as just buying one house in the next decade. Why tf can’t I do it?

When you think about making your own scary goals, won’t you even try? It’s like that saying to shoot for the moon and even if you miss, you’ll land amongst the stars (and not on earth with a cramp in your neck because all you do is look up at the sky all the time).

I could include so many motivational quotes here, but one of my favorite comes from Steve Jobs in his Think Different commercial for Apple back in 1997:

Now that you’ve created some concrete and scary goals, you’re probably a tiny bit nervous/anxious/scared, but more so extremely excited and fulfilled to have a new sense of purpose. How do you go about achieving these lofty goals though? *inserts suspenseful voiceover* Stay tuned for an upcoming blog post on just that!

To your success,

Leave your comments below — I’d love to hear from you! What goals do you have? How can you make them less airy and more concrete and scary? Any questions or comments about this post? I respond to each and every comment so I'm looking forward to hearing from ya!