It’s OK to Set Goals Now and Change Course Later

Ryan Eidson  —  June 23, 2014

Last week I compared goal setting with story structure. Let’s go deeper with that idea today by obliterating your fear of setting goals today and having to change course later.


Photo source flickr user: Paxson Woelber | cc


How Fiction Characters Change in the Draft

Let me illustrate with an example of me writing a book. When I sit down to write my fiction books, I have an idea of where I want the story to go. I know how the story will end, and I create an outline to get there.

Sometimes when I’m in the middle of a story, the characters do something I don’t expect. Or a situation in the story changes so much that I have to alter my outline.

I set goals for the characters up front. Yet there are moments as if the character makes choices for himself/herself that I didn’t anticipate ahead of time. The character develops more of himself as the story goes along, and makes different decisions as he matures.

And that means the story changes.

You Goals Change as You Progress in Life, Too

The same is true for you. You may set goals up front, but situations change and you grow up. You end up going with the flow more than you think!

Don’t be worried about changing course mid-way. A ship parked at the dock can’t change its direction. Set your sails and adjust your rudder as you go!

So many people (myself included) want to have every detail right before we even get started. But the problem with that is we fret over all the details and delay our important work!

“Imperfect action is better than perfect inaction.” —Often attributed to Harry S. Truman

Get out there.

If you fail, fail fast.

Test early and test often.

Test your minimum viable product or service. Transfer theory to real-world measurable results as soon as possible.

Connect with great people along the way.

Set Goals Now and Don’t Worry About the Future

Don’t beat yourself up for setting goals and changing course later on. That doesn’t make you a failure.

Who knows? Maybe your ship will land in uncharted territory full of big discoveries and untapped wisdom.

But you’ll never know if you keep your boat tied to the dock.


What will you do today to set sail?


Ryan Eidson


I have the unique ability to make complex ideas easy to understand. I am the author of A Couple with Common Cents and live in rural Missouri.