Never Set Goals Before You Begin: 3 Ways Eliminating Goal Setting will Sky Rocket Your ResultsJun 05, 2022
You've set goals for yourself in an attempt to change your life or achieve success. For example, you probably doled out future goals like "I want to lose 20 pounds" or "I will earn six figures by 30." Setting those kinds of goals is exciting at first. But then, the doubts start to creep in. Maybe it's because you're not losing weight fast enough or as you make more money, it doesn't feel as good as you expected; whatever it is, it's too much stress! Even worse, have you ever completed a goal and still felt unfulfilled? Again, this is because goals are an impossible way to measure the path to a truly fulfilling life.
Goal-setting keeps you looking forward to identifying where you want to be in 6 months, one year, and five years. A fairly standard interview question is, "where do you see yourself in 5 years?". This question jumps over a crucial piece of information. How do you function TODAY? I could see myself dancing the part of the Sugar Plum Fairy in 5 years, but if I'm not learning how to dance ballet right now, it doesn't matter how much I see this as my future. (side note: this was a childhood dream of mine!)
Setting goals is often a path to overwork and overwhelm. Goals are in the future. We see it off in the distance, and we begin striving to achieve it. We set our eyes on the prize, and we put our heads down and worked. What's missing in this process is what's in your life right now. Whatever the goal you've set for yourself might be impressive (Going to grad school, Buying a new car, Finding love), they keep you focused on what you don't have in your life. Meanwhile, forgetting that you're living today, not six months, nine months, or years in the future.
The constant striving for achievement only to make it to the goal and then feel empty is a chronic problem for goal setters. When a plan becomes the way to celebrate your life and yourself, it will often feel less fulfilling than expected upon arrival. Because what's going on inside of you still consistents of critical self-talk and lack of self-trust, then no goal will be enough. As soon as you hit the plan, you'll turn around and need to make another one hoping that goal will be the one to make you feel like a success finally.
Goals also create an invisible ceiling. We set an endpoint or destination using what we believe to be true. In my summer audio course Portable Peace, we are working on clearing out old beliefs that have been obstacles. One of those beliefs might be that you'll be happier when you get the promotion. You work so hard and get the upgrade but overlook an opportunity in a different area that would have been even more growth and opportunity. The promotion becomes our focus, not being psychologically flexible and free to live.
Here's an example of what that looks like, if I set a goal of 30 clients in one year, I will be very focused on that number. I might not value the first 29 clients as much as I could because I see 30 as success. I believe that if I'm successful, I'll be happier, more content, and have a stable business. So I wait and postpone happiness, contentment, and stability and set them on a pedestal. I also create a ceiling in my potential when I focus on 30 clients when I could serve 50 clients in a year. I might be critical of myself if I do 18 beautiful women in a year. See how quickly a goal becomes limiting? Dreams can become monsters that we fear. We become hesitant to open doors because of what might jump out at us. If 50 clients are possible, but I've set my goal on 30, I become afraid and second guess my ability to go beyond.
Finally, goals set an upper limit for ourselves. It introduces the idea that the goal is what we can achieve but not beyond. It's not what we intend to happen, but inevitably it creates a line that we do not imagine ourselves crossing. Think of one of the happiest times of your life. Was it all that you imagined or MORE?! It was better than you could imagine because we limit ourselves too often. And if you're internal self-talk is negative, you limit yourself even more. It creates the opposite effect in that we set a goal to achieve, but in the end, we hold ourselves back because we think we need to do more, be more and give more.
Imagine, if you could let go of the idea of goals, how much easier it could be to move past the unmovable walls in front of you and start acting on your business or life projects.
I'm writing this blog post because I have a way for you to slay your goal monster. A set of concepts will make it easier for you to get past the idea of goals and living NOW, not later.
Let's clarify where goals have been a barrier without realizing it.
- Goals have you focused on the future, which means you often overlook the opportunities of today.
- Goals are often outside achievements. You'll still feel unfulfilled if you don't first find internal validation.
- Goals set upper limits. It doesn't leave room for you to soar beyond what you can imagine for yourself.
So what can we do about the problems that goal-setting creates? The simple answer is 'Never Set Goals Before You Begin.' Instead, set intentions. A goal is a desired outcome, results, and the future. In contrast, an intention is a chosen theme that aligns with your values right now. Intentions keep you present instead of focusing on the result. And it's in today's actions, change can become a reality, not a future goal. Being present is such a powerful tool to live your best life by helping your use energy wisely.
When you learn to be present, you perform better and achieve much more than a goal you can set. Think back to when you were worried, nervous, thinking about the past, or worrying about the future. How well do you perform when you're in that state? How compassionate are you to your loved ones? How creative can you be when you're overwhelmed or stressed out?
Going full circle, let's go back to the examples I gave initially. You may be wondering how you'll ever achieve anything. The truth is your results will skyrocket by eliminating goals. You chose your goal of losing 20lbs for a reason. What becomes valid once you lose those 20lbs? It probably involves confidence or something similar. To be present means rather than focusing on the result and waiting to feel confident until that happens, we'll bring it back today. What is one small thing you feel sure about right now? And setting the intention of healthy living means that you are present when you decide to go for a walk or watch TV and choose veggies or candy.
Here's the fantastic thing, the goal of 20lbs was small and limiting. Setting intentions of being healthy means you don't have to wait. You can start living in a way that aligns with your values now. Every moment of every day, we make choices, and when we live intentionally, we realize the power is all yours. So will you take the challenge and STOP setting goals?
I have a new free downloadable workbook to help you begin to live with intention. By replacing the goal of balance, you can experience a sense of ease. The ebb and flow of life no longer feel difficult or unsteady. The link for Reconnect with Yourself: Work/Life Blend is HERE.
What would you say if I told you that spending 5 minutes per day supporting your mental wellness could improve your gut health? And 5 minutes per day helping your gut health could improve your mental health?
I have a Black Friday Sale coming soon. It's a fantastic deal where you'll get not 1 but 2 workshops from wellness professionals. There is a solid body-mind connection, and we want to help you understand it.
Everyone who gets on the waitlist also receives a BONUS gift to help you feel calm this holiday season. So sign up today and be the first to hear about the offer when registration opens.
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