# Goals should be binomial

Prefer **binary**, **discrete** goals that **don’t depend on the opinions of others**.

**Binary:** Two possibilities are better than many, so aim for binomial goals. Heads or tails, that’s it. This limits the variance of outcomes. Binomials are nice because they have bounded variance. Variance creates risks and uncertainty, which humans don’t do well with and can only drive manic stress. You will live happier and more stress-free if you limit your goals to things that can be distilled into binary efforts.

**Discrete:** Better to have goals with strict success criteria – you either do the thing or you don’t do the thing. Something happens or it doesn’t. Don’t attempt to achieve a particular “level” of success along some continuous spectrum. Focus on discrete objectives or tasks. “Write the essay”. “Send the email”. “Host the dinner”. This doesn’t mean quality doesn’t exist – it does – you’re just choosing not to focus on it explicitly. This doesn’t mean there aren’t intermediate steps to accomplish – there are, but they’re obvious. Discarding details opens up possibilities.

**Don’t depend on the opinions of others:** Goals that depend on the opinions of others are unrealistic. Such goals are outside of your control, and create stress and worry. They require you to model the minds of others – a fraught exercise. Modeling yourself and the non-sentient world is a big enough task on its own. Limit your goals to those within your zone of control.

## References

the binomial distribution with parameters n and p is the discrete probability distribution of the number of successes in a sequence of n independent experiments, each asking a yes–no question, and each with its own Boolean-valued outcome: success (with probability $p$) or failure (with probability $q=1−p$