Ex-lawyer turned relationship coach

Goals Are Overrated

The world of self-development is obsessed with goal setting. And there’s some sense to that. After all, how do you know if you hit your mark without a clear target? 

An outstanding question, if you’re playing darts. But largely irrelevant when you’re plotting out a course for your life.

Suppose you set out a goal to learn some Italian every day this year and you only practiced 230 days out of 365. Did you fail? If the objective was reaching the target, yes. But you did great if your goal was to take on a new challenge and grow in ways that you couldn’t foresee.

And isn’t that the reason we take on any personal goal? To gain new experiences, stretch our minds and get ahead of where we started?

If your goal brought you to new insights, such as that you’d much rather learn Spanish, your goal was a flying success. Even if you fell short of your objective by a few dozen lightyears.

So to continue from where we started off: how do you know if you’ve reached your goal?

When it feels right. 

How do you know if you studied enough? When it feels right. How do you know if you lost enough weight? When it feels right. How do you know if you’ve read enough self-help? When friends hear you making sarcastic comments about Anthony Robbins in your sleep.

Be careful of mistaking goals for something meaningful that must be attained at all costs. Goals are like a compass. They exist only to give you a sense of direction.

If used as a wayfarer’s tool, goals will get you closer to marvelous opportunities you didn’t even think of. 

By Jeroen Elsing
Ex-lawyer turned relationship coach