I was on a podcast yesterday and the topic of goals came up.
I’ve been thinking about goals a lot. Because they are so central to the way many of us think about the corporate world, and so antithetical to the way I typically work with people.
To me, if you’re really on the right track, goals are unnecessary. You will do whatever it is you need to, simply because you love it and are determined to succeed.
And if you aren’t meeting your goals, it might be a sign you’re not on the right track. That you are focusing on things that you think you should do, that you think you have to do, rather than focusing on what will actually work for you.
Most people use goals to try to make themselves do things they really don’t want to.
Think about that for a second.
If you don’t want to do something, why are you doing it?
What is on that list of “have to’s” for you?
Reaching out to potential customers? Creating a business plan? Determining the direction of the company? Writing a budget?
If you really don’t want to do it, how good a job do you think you will do?
My coaching business took off as soon as I saw that I could really help people. Once I got the impact I was having, I enjoyed reaching out to people. I was excited to talk about them, to explore the transformation that we could create together.
Do you ever talk to people trying to sell you something, but you can tell they really don’t want to be there? How did that go? How did that feel?
If you don’t enjoy a task, it might be a sign that you don’t really need to do it, or that someone else on your team should be doing it instead.
If you’re not meeting your goals, in other words, you might have the wrong goals. You might be focused on things you think you should want, rather than what you actually want.
Spend as much time as you can doing the things you love to do, that only you can do. The things that are part of your superpowers. Delegate, or maybe even ignore, the rest.
So all that said, when are goals helpful?
When you do have a path, when you know what you specifically need to do, when you know the tangible steps that must be taken, goals are a great way to track progress.
If you are working on a project with a specific deliverable and due date, goals and milestones are perfectly appropriate.
But most of the rest of the time, my experience is that goals can actually do more harm than good.
What’s your experience?