Why Anti-Goal Setters Should Stop Being Afraid of Setting Goals. Or not, it’s up to you. I just wanted to provide a little encouragement.
I can’t tell you how many times I hear people say they don’t set goals or don’t believe in setting goals. I’ve been in that boat before myself; I was Miss Anti-Resolution several years. I get it, believe me. I know why people don’t like setting goals.
Because they’re never accomplished… Or life changes and the goal goes off track.
So they don’t set goals.
But I’m here to tell you, as a little side note, that even anti-goal setters still make plans and set goals, they just might not even realize it yet. Even the most spontaneous of people (my husband is one of them) don’t walk off cliffs because they go around with their eyes closed. Okay, that’s a little extreme, but most people still make decisions on what they’re going to do before they do it, even if it’s seconds before.
That’s not really anything to do with this topic, though. I’m supposed to be convincing you why goals are beneficial for everyone.
I think people either set goals because they feel like they have to, or because they want to get somewhere. Those are the two categories a goal you set falls in. The first will get you nowhere. You’ll forget about it or realize you can’t complete it, or that you don’t even want to complete it.
So even though I’m telling you that you should set goals, don’t set goals because you have to. Don’t set them because it’s January 1st and you feel guilty that you ate an entire pie on Thanksgiving and a plateful of cookies at Christmas. I mean, yes, we may need to have a discussion about self-control, but guilty goals are faulty goals. And the same goes for the out-of-thin-air goals. “Um, my new year’s resolution is to write in my journal every day,” is not a bad goal, but you probably are not going to complete it if you don’t know why you’re doing it, and also, have you ever written in a journal every day? That goal may also be too lofty.
So now you know a little of why, yes, goal-setting can be anti-productive, but I still haven’t told you why you should set goals.
Because life is a gift, and it’s up to you to do something with it.
You need to go somewhere.
Setting goals gets you somewhere. And news flash, you may not end up where you thought based on those goals, but it’s a lot easier to redirect a moving object then it is to budge a stone-cold dead one, or wrangle someone running around like their head’s cut off. So, you know, make those goals, but hold them loosely knowing that life changes, and that the end-goal is not the goal itself but that you’re making your life matter.
And how, you may ask, do you even make goals? By lining up your dreams and aspirations to who you want to be. What is your vision? What matters to you? You don’t have to think 50 years in the future, but even 5 years ahead—who are you? What matters to you? What surrounds you? How have you impacted the world? And how do you want to leave the world when it’s your time to go? You don’t have to be the one to solve world hunger or wars or whatever, but what how will you have influenced the people around you?
This is where you spend your effort and thinking. You look at who you are now and who you want to be in the future (not your accomplishments, not how much money you have, but who you are, it’s that simple), and then you set goals to get there, knowing that you may not achieve them perfectly, but at least you gave it your best shot.
And if you love Jesus, does the person you want to be line up with God’s Word? Really, is the person you want to be like Jesus Himself? That will influence the decisions you make and the goals you create.
If one of the things you want to be is healthy and full of energy to do what you need to do, then maybe losing 5 pounds this year is a fine goal, if you keep it in perspective and know it’s part of your lifestyle now, not just a finite achievement.
And then you tell someone who will keep you accountable, even if that scares you more than anything.
So now, I’m going to go off and eat a candy bar for breakfast, feel guilty, and vow to never eat that much sugar in the morning again.
But you, go and be marvelous.