Stop Setting Goals

As we enter a new year, setting goals is a common practice. I want to challenge your thinking. I propose we should all stop setting goals as a New Year’s resolution. What’s the point of establishing goals? We feel bad when we don’t accomplish them. They give power to managers to show how poorly we’ve done. Most of the time, we don’t even agree with the goals because they’ve been forced down our throats like a decree from a tyrannical czar.

In addition, we don’t really know how to write goals in a way that is specific and measurable. We are not that SMART. Even if we do write goals, they sit in an electronic folder buried under an onslaught of emails, text messages, IMs, and social media posts. We are too busy, and it takes too much effort to write goals.

Let’s not forget about the emotional stress of goals. Goals increase anxiety as they loom over our psyche ready to pounce on our insecurities like an angry goose protecting its young. Can you feel it? Just reading the word “goal” increases our heart rate, perspiration, and uncontrollable twitching.

Please, let us all forget the research that says people who set goals are more confident, motivated, and innovative. Let’s put aside the studies that say goal setters think bigger, achieve more, and are more comfortable taking risks. We don’t need these types of people, nor do we need to be these types of people.

Wouldn’t you rather just float by and keep the status quo? Goal setting just stirs the proverbial pot of complacency; when really what we all need is more complacency. Let’s not ruffle our feathers or the feathers of anyone else by proclaiming our BHAGS (Big Hairy Audacious Goals) to the world. The world doesn’t want to hear it. Your proclaimed goals are my inadequacies, and why should anyone have the right to make me feel inadequate.

Thus, I’m begging you to resolve to not set resolutions this this year. Make it your singular goal to set no goals. Rid yourself of effort, stress, pressure, and unwanted change. Take the path of least resistance to success and happiness and let the difficult and painful goals fade into the botched resolutions of years past.

Happy New Year!