Week 5: Goal Repotting

Part of:
Practical Decision-Making
Matt Freeman

Before our class session, please watch the video below for an overview of the subject matter we will be discussing, and familiarize yourself with the background materials linked below.

This week we conclude with a framework for thinking about goals and long-term strategy, that integrates with the rules of decision that we’ve practiced these last weeks. We end with a brief overview.

Reading Material

No reading is required, but transcripts of the main YouTube videos are available under the Supplemental materials.


  • Goal Repotting describes an exercise that you should practice regularly which can help you become unstuck in your pursuit of long-term goals.
  • Setting Up a Xanatos Gambit provides a set of strategic heuristics which integrate well with the tools of decision theory we have learned in this course.
  • What We Learned shows how all the material we’ve learned connects together.


  • Repot a goal, according to the instructions in Goal Repotting. In other words, find a long-term goal you’ve held which has become a source of frustration or anxiety, or simply no longer excites you, and redefine it in a broader scope.
  • Continue to make predictions on Metaculus.



  • Try to keep discussions on topic.
  • If students have questions for the instructor, directly contact the instructor with the question. The instructor may not be able to reply immediately, so try not to let the question hold up further discussion.
  • When leading a discussion, tap individuals to speak rather than waiting for someone to jump in first. Over the course of the session, try to vary who speaks first.

This week

  • (30 minutes) Discuss the goal repotting exercise. Have each student describe their goal, and their learnings from the exercise.
  • (15 minutes) Discuss the heuristics provided in the Xanatos Gambit video and invite the students to suggest important heuristics that they might add to the list.
  • (15 minutes) Discuss the Challenge Problem.


  • Continue making predictions and bets between guild members.


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