I’m incredibly fortunate. I’ve got to a point now where I make enough money to support me. At this point, my day-to-day contentment with what I do is more important to me than making me more money.
That puts me in a rather interesting position where I don’t want to set myself strict goals.
The thing is, ambitious goals are brilliant for pushing you and getting you to places you wouldn’t otherwise have gotten to. But they can also be a source of stress. They can put pressure on you. That’s the nature of goals.
Richard Koch says you should impose tight deadlines to force you to do more in less time, which is great in theory. But in reality, that creates stress.
All of this can be a good thing when you’ve got a big goal in mind. For instance, setting tough goals and really pushing yourself when you’re trying to quit your job can all be worth it. Quitting that job can be worth the stress and hassle.
But I’ve got myself into a position where the stress of strict goals is no longer worth it. I want to feel that I can wake up in the morning and do precisely what I want to do — I can’t do that if I have goals looming over me. I want to only do those things that I find most rewarding; those things that align with my moral principles. I still have goals — I just don’t set myself arbitrary deadlines or put myself in a position where I feel pressured to do something I don’t want to do.
Consider my experience with Clear Blogging Solutions. I started off by trying to attract every client under the sun. I soon discovered that I didn’t like dealing with people who wanted to pay $50 per article, and that my original core client (who would pay a good price for good value) was someone I wanted to stick with. There might be less of them, and I might make less overall by dealing only with them, but it is sure more rewarding. Screw the extra money — I don’t need it. I’m happy.
Depending upon your current situation, this may come of something as a revelation to you, or you may be sitting there telling me that it’s all well and good for me. Fair enough, but I’m not here to hate on goal setting (far from it) or gloat that I can afford not to set goals. My point is that goal setting is a tool; one that should be used with forethought. As such, you should always ask yourself why you are setting a goal and whether it is worth it — not simply set goals blindly because you feel it is the done thing.
I’m not saying you shouldn’t set goals — after all, without goals, we are highly unlikely to ever reach our true potential. But perhaps reaching our true potential involves sacrifices that are too great. That is the equation you have to consider.
Photo Credit: Marcel Oosterwijk