There are only two types of goals that are sensible:

  1. A general long-term vision for the future (20-50 years out).
  2. Specific daily habits and attitudes that are likely to help fulfill your long-term vision.

Quarterly, yearly, and five-year plans are virtually impossible to execute without compromising both your daily habits and attitudes, and your long-term vision. And such time frames are arbitrary — things aren’t go to go according to the plans you set out within those time frames.

Dedication to your five-year life-plan might actually cause you to miss out on something better. Commitment to your one-year fitness goal might cause you to injure yourself and suffer a major setback (the body doesn’t care how badly you want to do one-arm push-ups). Obsession with quarterly profits might cause you to cut corners and alienate clients.

Masterplans are for the delusional. Sensible daily habits and attitudes, with a general long-term vision is how positive outcomes are created.