Skip to content

Why I’m not setting any goals this year

I used to be all about setting goals at the start of every year. They’d be the usual things: make $X more, get X more clients, that kind of stuff.

But I started this new business just last year. (Hi!) And I want to start fresh; to get rid of the habits and practices that didn’t serve me and enjoy myself more.

Goal setting is one of them. Here’s why:

  • I have a habit of setting goals that are impossible to achieve, or that need a lot of planning and strategy to make happen. Spoiler alert: I keep doing what I’m doing, don’t meet the goal, and get into a spiral of self-doubt and negativity. It’s a form of self-sabotage.
  • The goals I’ve set haven’t been ones that I *want*, they’ve been things I think I *should* have. More money. More clients. More. More More. And that’s why I don’t meet them; because in my heart of hearts, I don’t want whatever it is.
  • It takes your focus away from now. It means that you’re spending all this time working towards a particular goal, but maybe in the meantime you’re missing other opportunities or ideas.
  • You reach your goal. Then what? It’s a bit like when I trained for a 12km run. I got there, I did it, but had no plans for after that. Now I’d be starting from the couch again.

Instead, this year I’m going to take things as they come. I have a general goal of growing this lovely new coaching business and doing things differently, but I’m open to watching and waiting and letting things unfurl more organically for now.

Maybe later will be a time for goal setting, but it doesn’t feel right now.

What about you? Are you setting goals? It can be a great thing to do if you need focus and structure in your work.

Things to remember are:

  • Keep them realistic. That’s not to say aim really low, but know what you could actually do at a bit of a stretch. If you overachieve, well done! But remember there’s more to life and work than dogged pursuit of a thing.
  • Have a real purpose in mind. You want to make $X – that’s great? But do you know why, or is it just because you think striving for more money is just something you should do? Is there some other purpose you could be working towards?
  • Don’t try to control the uncontrollable. A lot in business is in your control, but a lot isn’t. 2020 taught us all that in some measure. Know when it’s time to reevaluate, and maybe let go.
  • Stay in alignment with what matters to you. Know what you actually value, and set goals that align with how you want your work and life to look. Ignore what other people and society say you should want – this is all about you, your life, and your work.
  • Consider them less as goals and more of intentions, if that helps. Intentions help you set a course so you’re not setting off to sea with no compass, but you’re less likely to be blind to opportunities and interesting diversions that come along the way.

Get in touch