According to famed blogger, Leo Babauta of Zen Habits, we are limiting ourselves with goals and that living without goals is incredibly freeing.
In his former blog, mnmlist, he wrote that goals are not ideal because they are artificial, constraining, put pressure on us to achieve to get things done, and when we fail, it’s discouraging. He also added that goals are future-looking instead of the now and that with goals, one is never satisfied.
The first statement is his personal sentiment that he is entitled to and I respect that. But, I disagree with the second statement where he classified goals as artificial, constraining, and could be a source of our disappointment and dissatisfaction.
A goal is what we want to achieve, an aim, a destination. It could be so simple that there is no need to write it down or so multifaceted that we will need to break it down into simpler actions in order to achieve.
“I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.”
– Jimmy Dean
Goals do not have to be so stringent that we are not allowed to deviate from it or make corrections. A well-planned goal will have contingencies on how to overcome difficulties that one might encounter along the way.
Yes, there will be times that we will not be able to attain our goals. But, won’t that be because we either “bit off more than we can chew” or that we are not motivated enough to have a burning desire to go for it?
Some people, like Leo, are limiting the definition of goal as something that will leave them unfulfilled or unhappy if they cannot attain it. I submit that this is not what a goal should be.
When discouragement sets it, it is not the time for us to feel defeated, unfulfilled or unhappy, but the time to rise to action. Analyze – seek what caused it and how to prevent it from happening again. We might learn that the goal we are striving for is not the right goal for us. So, go back to planning a better goal. No one says you have to stick to your goals no matter what.
“Experts on the science of success know that the brain is a goal-seeking organism. Whatever goal you give to your subconscious mind, it will work night and day to achieve it.”
– Jack Canfield
Skills, either inherent or acquired, and self-motivation must go hand on hand in order to succeed in our endeavors.
A goal is way different from New Year’s resolutions that most people break within the first 3 months of the new year.
A goal needs to be well thought, well planned, motivated by our strong desire to achieve it. Then, we can break it down into manageable tasks so we can move towards it one step at a time. If we cannot perform what we thought was the basic step, it means, we still have some more” fragmentation” to do.
In conclusion, yes we really need goals to guide, motivate and inspire us to do the best we could be.
Now that I convinced you (I hope) that we do need goals, below are my suggestions to fulfill your goals.
5 STEPS TO GOAL SUCCESS
1. Be clear on what you really want and the reason why you want it. Will it move you to where you want to be in your life?
2. Create a tangible plan for achieving it – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-Bound (SMART goal) – using the words “I will” instead of ”I’d like to” or “I might”
3. Write down your goal and post it in visible places to remind you every day what you need to accomplish.
4. Believe that you can achieve it.
5. Stay committed and motivated.