6 months ago I stopped setting goals.
I used to be a prolific goal-setter. I had income goals, website traffic goals, social media goals, FB group goals, client goals, weight loss goals, you name it and I had goals for it.
So what changed?
Well for one, even though I was a goal setting queen, I was desperately unhappy. The more goals I set, the more goals I didn’t accomplish. So I was constantly evaluating and criticizing myself. I spent more time feeling bad than good. I was always not disciplined enough, or working hard enough, or likable, or any other negative reason I could attribute to not meeting my goals.
Those who know me well, know that under all this discipline, I’m forreal forreal a low key hippie chasing positive vibes and good karma. Last year, I felt like each day was defined by how much money I did or didn’t make, how many likes, followers, and views I got. All things that had meaning, but were not “meaningful” to me. I want joy. I want more ways to be kind. I want to teach and share with my whole heart in it. I want to contribute to the well-being of people my community.
So, where before I used to delight in a new sale, or lots of engagement on a post, or a new group member, now every new blog request, question, or a day spent not engaging felt like a heavy burden. In fact, each month that I ACTUALLY achieved a goal by going up in followers or meeting my income aspiration felt like an empty celebration. It didn’t feel like a step forward. It didn’t feel like a step anywhere… (Sorry for the ungrateful rambling but I want to be honest here.)
So I stopped setting those damn goals. Here are my new crazy thoughts about it.
Setting goals is a big waste of time. WAIT! Don’t x out of the screen yet. There’s some reasoning here! Setting goals is a waste of time IF you don’t have a vision for yourself. Here’s what I mean by vision.
Imagine if I invited you to go on vacation with me. I say “HEY I just bought us an all-inclusive trip for 2 and we leave Monday. You get all excited and start making moves. You request off work, buy a bathing suit, get some new flip flops, get your hair done, start a 5-day juice fast to fit in the bathing suit, and sign up to list your place on Airbnb. So you’re running around spending your time, energy, and resources. Come Sunday you’re like “I DID THAT!”
Now, what if I told you we’re going backpacking in Utah for 3 weeks. Now you’re thinking all those new clothes you bought, this juicer, and new sew-in may not really be all that important anymore. You need hiking shoes, and braids, and to Google what black women take on a backbacking trip through Utah!
The point I’m trying to make here is you can set goals all you want, but they don’t make sense unless you know where you’re going and WHY. The goal of getting your hair done did not help you. In fact, it only wasted your time and brought no satisfaction.
Now if I said we’re going to Jamaica for 2 weeks, the goals sort of just make themselves? You know what to pack, what days to request off work, you can look at the weather, plan activities, get your passport together, etc.
Operating any other way is just hustling backward.
I discuss a practical way of creating goals that are defined by a vision in this post. I suggest you read it, download the goal setting sheets, and hit a sista up with your comments.
Hope my experience helps you.