Today is another AMA episode – “Ask Me Anything”.

David asks,

I know that every year you have a goal setting workshop. You most likely established some very detailed short and long term goals.

How have these goals been impacted with the current change in world events?


That’s a great question. 2020 is emerging for many as one of the most uncertain years in recent memory. It started with the Covid-19 back at the end of January.

Last week, it was Hurricane Laura, decimating one of the communities that I have several projects underway. I would not have predicted that I would spend days with my mental energy consumed by hurricane and its aftermath.

As you rightly pointed out, I’m a huge believer in goal setting. In fact, one of my goals this year is to hold my annual goal setting workshop in the first week of December. We plan to hold it in the beautiful Banff National Park area where we have a portfolio of properties and we can minimize the risk of disease transmission. But from where things stand right now, I’m not sure if we will get to even hold a face to face event.

I can tell you that it is difficult to hold an effective event that requires deep introspection when done over a virtual environment. There are simply too many distractions in the home office.

We will see if we hold the goal setting workshop this year, and if so, how we will do it.

So back to your question. In the last week of November of 2019 I spent three days on the beach in Mexico with a small group of like minded entrepreneurs setting goals. It’s a deep exercise in which you focus on getting alignment of your values.

There are two types of goals that you can set. You can set attainment goals.

These goals are things that have a tangible outcome. You might set a goal of buying a new house or buying your first investment property in 2020. That would be an attainment goal.

The second type of goal is a habit goal. This is where you might set a goal of meditating daily, or running two miles each day, or getting 8 hours sleep daily. That’s a habit goal.

So when we talk about goal setting in 2020, we need to look at both attainment goals and habit goals.

In my case, most of my attainment goals for 2020 are progressing but are delayed. The truth is, we are still on track to accomplish those goals on a later timeline.

One thing that many people struggle with is abandoning a goal when the original objective can no longer be met.

In our culture we have a highly competitive social conditioning on ideas like success and failure. So much of that definition is based on comparison culture. Did you meet your objectives for the quarter? Did you win the basketball game? Did you meet your sales quota for the month?

On July 1 we reviewed the book “The Infinite Game” by Simon Sinek as our book of the month. In that book, Simon distinguishes between the finite mindset and the infinite mindset. In the infinite mindset, you are not playing the win-lose game. You’re playing the game of continuous improvement. You’re focused on how you’re using your most precious resource, that is time.

The fact is, much as we would like to be in control of our lives, that are some things we can control, and other things we can’t. Getting clear on what we can control is essential to making those choices. It’s easy to get into a mindset that says your hands are tied. The truth is, you have a lot more choice than you might think. Surprises can invert your priorities in the short term. In an uncertain environment, my focus is on my habit goals.