Jank pointed out an article about goals and losing focus after meeting those goals.

[…] You have this goal, a marathon, an ideal weight, a mountain to climb, your perfect job, whatever. You write a blog about it, you talk to people about it, you make friends who have a similar goal. The goal becomes your passion. You center your entire alotment of free time around it. […] After all this, you finally make it. The scale gives you that magic number, you cross the finish line, or your new employer hands you your first check. Life is good. You made it and you bask in the glory for few weeks while friends and mentors pat you on the back. Then you wake up one morning and realize you have no idea what you are going to do now. […]

I can understand where he is coming from, but I can not really relate. I rarely set one goal and then embark upon that goal. I string myself along with multiple goals, and never leave myself in a void. It is not that I do this on purpose; it is just the way that I am.

Sometimes, one goal is something that needs to be accomplished before I can finish that other goal. Running a Boston Marathon qualifying time, for example, so that I can run in Boston. Maybe now that I have run Boston I will run it again some day with some actual training under my belt.

Other times, the goals may be similar in nature but not related to completing each other. For example, I wanted to run a marathon under 3 hours, and I want to run a marathon in every state. I can accomplish the one or the other on the same track, but I can also complete one and never accomplish the other. I’ve already run a marathon in under 3 hours, but I am only 12% of the way towards running a marathon in every state. (Update: As of 2007, I’m 20% of the way towards every state, plus I’ve run an ultramarathon.)

Some of my goals are only loosely related or not at all related. I would like to be competitive at both the marathon and the 5k or 10k distances; I want to compete in a triathlon at some point; I want to maintain a high state of fitness through lifting weights. I also want to make this website successful, and to write and sell books on topics that interest me.

By not setting one goal, such as finishing a marathon or climbing a mountain, my focus doesn’t get lost when I complete (or fail to complete) a goal. My attention may be divided a bit and sometimes my goals may compete with one another for attention. However, I can concentrate on the goals at hand and then move on when I need something fresh. There is always something else that will need doing.