Why I’m Frustrated With Goal Setting

goals vs no goals

It frustrates me to no end that we’re never taught how to set goals right in school. Sure, I can tell you the chemical formula for table salt, but I couldn’t plan my best year ever in a way that breeds success.

Our culture does a great job of impressing upon us the importance of achievement and goal setting. We get an A for that.

But most of our goals are just… flat.

  • I’m going to complete a triathlon
  • I’m going to lose weight
  • I’m going to read my Bible every day

We’re never taught the art of goal setting that helps us craft a life we’re excited to live. We’re never let in on the process to doing this right.

No Goals Philosophy

In fact, most of us have given up on the whole pursuit. These things aren’t really getting us where we want to go. We’re not happy. So let’s just quit doing it!

I listened to a fascinating interview recently on Adam Baker’s Man vs Debt Podcast where Leo Babauta shared his “no goals” philosophy. Leo and Adam are fighting the same battle you are. Goals aren’t getting them exactly where they want to go.

They’re boxing them in.

They’re forcing them into things they don’t really even want to do.

So they’re throwing them out. No goals.

I completely understand where they’re coming from. I’ve been there myself. But that’s throwing the baby out with the bath water in my opinion (first time I’ve ever used that sang in my life).

What’s really missing here is the right process to plan your year in a way that really sets you up for success. Not too much planning. Not too little planning. But the right planning.

I started studying this years ago because, as I mentioned, I’d given up on the goals things myself.

Even though I wasn’t having much luck in the achievement department, I still believed it was the difference maker between those who are massively successful and the rest of us.

And as fired up as I get about achieving big things, I’m equally bummed out when I see people not giving themselves the best chance to succeed by setting mediocre goals.

This is the year I decided to do something about it!

Click here to learn how I’m helping people CRUSH 2012!

(photo credit)

  • Anonymous

    Goal setting is not as trivial as many people make it seems. It can present a lot of challenges but I believe that the key to achieving whatever goals we set is to know exactly what you are doing. Understanding what your dream entails makes it easier to achieve.

    • Deacon Bradley

      No doubt Martin! Well said.

  • Bon Crowder

    I’m a no-goal kinda gal, too. If I’m excited about it, I do it. If I’m not, I don’t. 

    If I make it as a GOAL and I’m not excited about it, then clearly I shouldn’t be doing it. So I have excitement based actions. And I don’t say “I’m gonna.”

    I say, “I did.”

    • Deacon Bradley

      There’s no point in setting a goal if you’re not excited about it – 100% agree with you there! I still believe well-crafted goals are an important part of getting you where you ultimately want to go. But yea, if you’re setting goals that aren’t fun or that you’re not super stoked about – not gonna happen!

  • Jonathan White

    I know goal setting can get a bad reputation but I have no idea where I would be in my life if I was not intentional about my life and had a plan. I might not reach every single goal but that’s ok because getting 80% of my goals accomplished is a lot better than having no goals and getting nothing accomplished!