On Thursday I confessed that I’ve given up on goals as a tool for motivation and direction setting. Though goal setting had worked for me for a long time, I found myself getting over-invested in my goals – to the point where it drove unhealthy behaviors. But, if I got less invested, I’d set goals and never track them!
What’s the alternative to setting goals
As someone who grew up with the Harvard Goals Study drilled into my head, the idea that I could make any progress without goals felt like blasphemy!
So, when goal setting stopped working for me, I had to look for another way to maintain focus on what I want to achieve and measure my progress toward those goals.
A new way of being
The awareness that goals weren’t working for me came when I was also learning about being more present. I discovered that I was spending a lot of my mental focus and energy thinking about either things that happened in the past, how could I “do better” – or on the future, reviewing plans, or scheming to avoid potential obstacles.
But the only place that I can make a difference in my life is now, in the present.
So I’ve tried to make a shift. Instead of focusing on what I wanted to do, I began focusing on who I wanted to be.
It seems like a subtle shift – but it hit at the heart of what wasn’t working for me about goals!
When I focused on achieving things, I could find myself acting in ways that weren’t who I wanted to be, that wasn’t authentic.
When I focus on who I want to be, it keeps me more grounded in the present, “Who am I being now?” Which gives me information about what changes I want to make to be a person I’d admire and respect.
So how do you see progress?
When I’m focused on “being,” I’m trusting that the person I’m becoming will get results.
When I’m being kind, generous, and focused on serving others, my business thrives as a result. The progress shows me that I’m on the right path. Instead of making the business progress the goal or outcome I’m seeking, it’s the result that comes from the man I’m being.
If you’re still reading to this point, maybe you’ve been feeling like goals and achievement isn’t “working” for you anymore. If that’s you, hit reply, and let’s get on the phone. I’d be happy to share what’s worked for me!