in Serious

Having No Goals – a U Turn?

So, my last post was quite a long one about my 2012 goals and my planning process and I am already seriously considering doing away with goals altogether (this is a hard thing for me to say!).

We’re nearly two weeks into 2012 and my weekly and daily planning process has fallen into exactly the same place it always does – I get too ambitious, set the benchmark too high and come in way too low. I also spread myself way too thin and end up trying to do many things half-way which means l end up feeling crap about what I achieved at the end of the week. I also cannot get out of my head that I am ultimately failing to create permanent habits that are important to me (eat well, exercise regularly etc.)

I’m also starting to realise that goals no longer motivate me. Reading back on my 2012 goals, it would certainly be great if I did everything, but reading it just doesn’t excite me – I just don’t get fired up reading it. They are just words.

I am therefore seriously considering just focusing on creating new habits, one at a time and forgetting about long term goals for the next 3 months. I’m thinking I’ll still probably have a daily planning process to keep me organised but I will let go of any planning beyond that.

This kinda scares me and is completely different to how I have approached the last 10 years. I’ve always had goals and have achieved a lot along the way, but the fact that I feel so crap all of the time and fail to develop the habits I so badly want to are the main drivers to considering a brand new approach. The one thing that is making me seriously consider this is that I am naturally someone who has a good vision for what I want out of life and what’s important to me at any one time. Because of that, comprehensive goal planning isn’t going to be the death of me. And anyway, it’s only 3 months right?

Below are some of the articles I have been reading from Zen Habits that are helping me shape my thinking. If you have any advice or feedback on this blog post or the below articles, I’d love to hear it.

achieving, without goals

the best goal is no goal

100 days without goals

How to Have the Best Year of Your Life (without Setting a Single Goal)

How I changed my life in four lines

The Half Step

The Single Changing Method

Like this post? Get new essays sent to your inbox:
  • http://www.cambridgehypnotherapy.co.uk Paul

    Hey Daniel
    Isn't focusing on habits another way of having goals but in a different definition and the thing about habits are they are very hard to create consciously being in their very nature unconscious. So how could you do that and still succeed???
    maybe look at your beliefs that either support your want to change and those that seem to make you falter on achieving what you want.
    Hmmmmmmm………….

  • http://www.cambridgehypnotherapy.co.uk paul@cambridgehypnotherapy.co.uk

    Hey Daniel
    Isn't focusing on habits another way of having goals but in a different definition and the thing about habits are they are very hard to create consciously being in their very nature unconscious. So how could you do that and still succeed???

    maybe look at your beliefs that either support your want to change and those that seem to make you falter on achieving what you want.

    Hmmmmmmm………….

  • Daniel Clough

    Yep, I think you're right – focusing on habits is another way of having goals.

    But… letting go of any planning beyond each day and just having one habit in your mind that you want to develop and then moving onto the next after you have it nailed down feels like it will yield a better result at the end of the year.

    Some thinking to do over the weekend, need to start next week differently.

  • cloughie@gmail.com

    Yep, I think you're right – focusing on habits is another way of having goals.

    But… letting go of any planning beyond each day and just having one habit in your mind that you want to develop and then moving onto the next after you have it nailed down feels like it will yield a better result at the end of the year.

    Some thinking to do over the weekend, need to start next week differently.