I ran into a great post about goal setting from Leo Babauta this morning. In it he suggests that the best goal, is no goal at all. He cites a quote from Emerson…
“With the past, I have nothing to do; nor with the future. I live now.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
As a long time goal setter, I’ve always struggled with the rigid constraint of a goal. You set specifics and design action steps, but something always happens along the way.
You get derailed.
Leo addresses this in his article… The problem with goals…
In the past, I’d set a goal or three for the year, and then sub-goals for each month. Then I’d figure out what action steps to take each week and each day, and try to focus my day on those steps. Unfortunately, it never, ever works out this neatly. You all know this. You know you need to work on an action step, and you try to keep the end goal in mind to motivate yourself. But this action step might be something you dread, and so you procrastinate. You do other work, or you check email or Facebook, or you goof off. And so your weekly goals and monthly goals get pushed back or side-tracked, and you get discouraged because you have no discipline. And goals are too hard to achieve. So now what?
Well, you review your goals and reset them. You create a new set of sub-goals and action plans. You know where you’re going, because you have goals! Of course, you don’t actually end up getting there. Sometimes you achieve the goal and then you feel amazing. But most of the time you don’t achieve them and you blame it on yourself.
I’ve found that most goals exceed our motivation to do them.
This chart shows where the problem lies… We usually set extensive and specific hard-to-do goals that fit clearly in the failure zone of this chart. As a creative, I’ve failed many times here. Leo suggests living a life without goals. He explains it this way… [Read more…] about Never Set Goals, But Do This Instead