I don’t set goals. I never have, but this year I decided to make one. My goal this tripÂ was nothing special. I wanted to read 15 books before I got home from Asia. Then another 5 before the end of Europe. I failed. I only read 13 books before I left for Europe and hit 15 near the end of that trip.
This had me thinking about goals and if they are really positives or negatives on people. I’m not talking about work goals, everyone knows that your boss loves to set goals. I hated each year when I needed to show up with SMART Goals in hand on how I was going to help the company succeed through my personal goals. Most times I just made up some bullshit that sounded good on paper. I mean really, you hired me to do a job, let me do it in peace.
I alsoÂ got annoyed in January at the full gym of New Year’s Resolution people with all their gusto and motivation to finally shed those 10 pounds, only to be gone two weeks later. I guess that is why I was never set aÂ resolution – why make a promise I am not going to keep? Maybe these were the reason I never set goals.
I mentioned my defeat to a couple of friends and how it disappointed me that I could not do one simple thing I set out for myself. I quickly voiced that people shouldn’t set goals, it just makes them feel bad that they failed.
‘But you didn’t fail’, she told me. ‘You read 13 books. Your life has improved because you challenged yourself.’ I started to think this over, she was right, I might not have read these books if I hadn’t set a number and pushed myself.
At dinner in Copenhagen, I was telling Dirk my objectives when we get home. These included getting on a workout schedule to lose the vacation weight, learning to do 50 pushups a day, getting my website completed, and finding clients for my bookkeeping business.
As the conversation continued, I mentioned my post about ‘Goals’ I was working on. Halfway through my story, I realized that everything I outline as my objectives when we got home were actually goals. All these years of setting targets and timelines to complete something is really a goal. Maybe these were little insignificant goals, but they were goals none the less.
It made me realize that giving people goals or targets or ojectives, even small ones, could push them to be better people. It is all in how you looked at it. People aren’t weak if they fall short of a goal, they are stronger for trying.