Setting Goals and Cooking Better

Apr 20, 2018 | Cooking Tips

I like to imagine myself in the future as the best possible version of me. The ideal version of me. I imagine all the things I do. All the things I know. I imagine how I think and how I see the world. Then, I imagine all the things I had to do to become that person. I follow the path from there back to me now and I see all the things I want to change and how to change them. Then I use this information, this reverse path, to set goals for myself. I do this with the hope that those goals will lead me to be the best possible version of me that I can be.

Goals are the measurements of success that we use to mark our progress to our destination. 

Without goals, we are just ships floating blindly on the sea. If there is no destination, no end point in mind, we fall stagnant. We float along going where the wind and the current take us until we die or by sheer blind luck reach some sort of dry land. Goals motivate us. They give us direction. Goals are the measurements of success that we use to mark our progress to our destination.

I was unhappy because I had no purpose.

I spent a long time floating blindly. Accepting whatever came my way and only passively desiring anything else. I had no goals. I had no idea of where I was going. I was unhappy because I had no purpose. I blamed the world and everyone but me for all my problems. Until one day out of absolute frustration, I set a goal. I didn’t even see it as a goal, but that’s what it was. I set one goal, which I completed. This led me to set another goal. I completed that one too! Soon enough I was setting and completing goals left right and center. My life changed.

Discouragement is a temporary condition when you know what you want. 

Six years ago I made a decision to change my life. I saw the vague version of the person I wanted to be and I knew that the path I was on was taking me in the wrong direction. If you looked at me six years ago I would be almost unrecognizable as the person I am today. It has not always been smooth sailing. There have been storms and sea monsters. I have stumbled at times. I have failed at times. But you when you have a destination. When you have goals. Even when you fall off the path, it is easy to find your way back. Discouragement is a temporary condition when you know what you want.

Cooking is no different than life.

Cooking is no different than life. Without goals, we cook the same things over and over and never get better. We get stagnant. We learn to hate cooking because there is no growth. There is no excitement or satisfaction. By setting goals, even simple ones we are setting our minds to task on something. We are creating a destination so there is at least a little wind in our sail.

Imagine yourself in your kitchen. You are the best cook you want to be. You can cook everything you want to cook easily and joyfully. Now, imagine what you know. The knowledge you have. Imagine the skills you have. Imagine the time and effort you have invested. Think of all the things you had to do and learn that got you to that point. Now, look backward and see the path back to where you are now.

You don’t have to be the best cook in the world. That doesn’t have to be your goal. Your goal could be as simple as wanting to be able to make really good homemade pizza. It really doesn’t matter what it is. But if you want to find joy in cooking, if you want to be better, this is a way to do that.

With purpose comes fulfillment.

Your goal could be broad. You could say simply “I want to be a better cook.” that’s fine. But map it out. Make a plan on how to achieve that. With purpose comes fulfillment. Seriously. Try it. Set a small goal like you want to make the best pasta sauce. Imagine what that pasta sauce tastes like. What makes it the best? What ingredients are in it? Is there some specific knowledge that you need to make that sauce? Map it out. Follow the map. You won’t believe the profound change it will have on your cooking.

I honestly believe that a lot of people don’t like cooking because they have never really tried to enjoy it. They have had no success because they have had no goals. They haven’t grown because they have no vision of what they want to grow into.  No wonder they hate it. But by setting one small goal, just one, and achieving I think that most of those people would enjoy it at some level.

There is no secret to enjoying cooking. Just like there is no secret to enjoying life. But there is a formula for happiness and fulfillment. Set goals. Achieve them. Repeat.



  1. Renee

    He cooks, he writes, has his own web show. There’s nothing Chef Ben can’t do. Ha ha Thanks once again for the inspiration. I’ve lost my kitchen mojo as of late. Reading this helped rekindle my cooking spirit a little. Thanks for sharing this.

  2. Chef Ben Kelly

    Thank you Renee! I am so happy to hear that I could help in some way!!

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