Sharing, musing, reflecting...

WHY GOALS DON’T WORK

GOALS image

I’m not anti goals. I think they have their place and are often essential.

For example, at work, goals are crucial. If there were no targets, then how would we know   which way to go, what to pay attention to or what success looks like?

But, when it comes to our personal lives, there is often too much emphasis on the achievement of goals.

For example, there’s a general belief perpetuated in self help books that if you don’t have goals, then you’ve got no ambition or you’re going nowhere.

But is this really true?

This belief implies that without setting goals, we don’t have the ability to move forwards,  get things done, be content or create a life we love. And this also assumes that we don’t have innate motivation, common sense or wisdom. 

Well the good news is that we do have buckets of motivation, common sense and wisdom. We’re born with it.  Common sense is part of who we are and it’s always guiding us. All we have to do is listen and pay attention to it. We all have moments when we instinctively know what to do next or what not to do. We all have times when despite the apparent logic presented to us, we know it isn’t the right thing to do. That’s wisdom speaking to us.

There’s another pitfall with goals. If we are too fixated on some target or goal out there in the future, we may lose sight of this moment and miss what’s right here in front of us.

The reason we fixate on that future target or achievement is because we think our happiness or contentment is dependent on achieving it. We say things like ‘As soon as that’s done, I can relax’ or ‘When I’ve got that promotion, then i’ll be happy’ and you can probably find one that fits your own experience.

But this isn’t how life works…

Contentment and happiness aren’t created by goals or results in the future. Contentment and happiness are a state of mind [thoughts and feelings] which means they are unconditional. We don’t require specific things to occur before those feelings can show up. 

When we give up thinking that we’re not enough, or that we need x, y or z in order to feel content/happy/OK, then we find that these sought after feelings show up instantly. It’s only our thoughts of lack or inadequacy that keep those feelings away.

So…..if you are going to have goals, let them be guided by your natural instincts and remember that the goal itself has no bearing on your happiness and contentment in this moment. Only your thinking can determine that.

Chantal Burns ScreenshotChantal Burns

Executive Coach, Speaker and Bestselling Author of

'INSTANT MOTIVATION: The Surprising Truth Behind What Really Drives Top Performance'

Click here to get Instant Motivation

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