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Goals are not a Panacea for Achievement

Goals are not a Panacea for Achievement

I have been a strong advocate of S.M.A.R.T. goals.  This method has significant appeal for annual bonus planning and assessing performance achievement.  However, being goal driven in all aspects of your life can be detrimental.

What I have begun to understand is that goals always leave me feeling like I am chasing a long-sought reward that never seems to be within my reach.  By moving the objective as soon as I get meaningfully close, I convince myself that striving for this new target helps me stay focused on my priorities.  Unfortunately, what happens is a buildup of frustration and anxiety as the goal stays in a perpetual state of motion.  In full disclosure, I do not have scientific evidence to support this opinion, but a strong feeling that I am doing a disservice to myself with a constant focus on goal achievement.

I believe these new views derive from success on some long-term goals and my current reading infatuations.  I have found it is dispiriting waking up and not having a battle to fight or a hill to conquer when that is your go-to approach to life planning.  I do not know about you, but it leads me feeling empty.  It is time for a new approach to goal setting.

Going forward, I am striving for a consistency in the methodological approach and output level.  Any milestone achievements will be the outcome of consistent execution and focused approach.  For example, I will not have a stated goal of the number of written articles or blog posts per week.  The plan is to set time aside to reflect and write without a specific goal, and pressure, to produce a particular number of posts or article drafts each week.  In this example, if my writing is good enough for a blog or eventually worked into an article, excellent, but I am not going to feel that I failed a personal goal if nothing comes of these ramblings.

I think this might be something that I am going to ponder deeper as I endeavor to figure out what processes and approaches I wish to institute as a replacement to the earlier long-held and rigid goal approach.

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