Setting goals is OVERRATED.
Yep, I said it.
But let me clarify.
It’s not that I don’t believe in goals or don’t find them helpful.
I simply find them overrated.
Goals can provide clarity… which in turn can help keep you on track and moving in the right direction.
Goals can provide motivation… which in turn can help compel you to put in the work required to reach them.
Goals can provide a finish line… which in turn gives you something tangible to actively pursue.
So yes, goals are helpful.
But they pale in comparison to what is really important: THE PROCESS.
Setting a goal is the start… but what really matter are the habits… the systems… the discipline… and the execution you need to actually REACH the goal.
It’s been my experience that many people determine be too much satisfaction just from setting the goal!
Why? You haven’t done anything yet!
People can get so fixated on wanting, hoping, wishing, and dreaming of the goal that they neglect the actual work required to achieve it.
They get so distracted in the fantasy of what it will feel like to accomplish it hat they don’t put forth the necessary focus and effort to actually make it happen.
After all, it’s not the goal itself that is valuable, but rather what you do every day to work towards it.
It’s not the goal of losing 20 lbs. that matters, it’s eating healthy your next meal that does.
It’s not the goal of winning a championship that matters, it’s giving your best effort at today’s practice that does.
It’s not the goal of getting a promotion that matters, it’s making a maximum contribution on your next project that does.
My favorite construct from James Clear’s book Atomic Habits is that it is more impactful to focus on who you want to become, not what you want to achieve.
Instead of focusing on losing 20 lbs., focus on living a healthy lifestyle daily.
Instead of focusing on winning a championship, focus on being the best teammate you are capable of.
Instead of focusing on getting a promotion, focus on adding as much value to your company that you can.
I am confident you will find prioritizing self-actualization over achievement is both more fulfilling and more effective!
With that said, there is something beautiful about consistently striving for growth, improvement, and development. To aim to evolve towards a high level of self-actualization.
But while you do that, be kind and compassionate to yourself and embrace who you are at present. As Peter Crone says, “You are a masterpiece and a work in progress simultaneously.”