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Alternative Ways To Focus On Your Goals

Alternative Ways To Focus On Your Goals

If you’re bored of hearing about goal setting, or are frustrated that you’re not meeting your goals, then these alternative ways to focus on your goals will be of interest to you. In fact, Nir Eyal, for Psychology Today says that you should not set goals, which initially I thought was highly controversial. Reading on though, I realised that what he is saying does actually make a lot of sense. We often set ourselves unrealistic goals, or goals that we won’t enjoy working towards, so he recommends rather than setting goals we should create productive habits which make our lives more enjoyable.

Alternative Ways To Focus On Your Goals

Step 1: Have no goals
Now I’m not saying setting goals never works. I’m saying it only works in certain contexts. In situations where someone else is asking you for output, like at work, goals are critical. Goals are also helpful when training to become an expert. However, most of us aren’t shooting to become world-class experts. You’re likely not struggling in competition with others, but with yourself.You are really confused right now, aren’t you? Everything you’ve learned about getting what you want in life has centered on the importance of setting goals. You’ve probably heard that you should always start with the ends goals first. I beg to differ.

See if any of these goals ring a bell:

“I’m going to lose 20 pounds by summer.”

“I’m going to run a marathon.”

“I’m not eating carbs for a month.”

How did those work out for you? Did any of these goals make your life better in the long run? Yeah, I didn’t think so. That’s because these kinds of goals aren’t optimizing for what’s really important, namely living an enjoyable life.

I call these kinds of goals “BUT Goals” because they are Big, Un-fun, and Time-boxed. These kinds of goals add misery to your life and people are biologically programmed to avoid things that cause them pain. If your goals are not enjoyable, you’ll quit. Therefore, when creating a productive habit, remember: hard work doesn’t work, so dump the goals.

Instead, forget the end destination and begin a journey. Your journey must be enjoyable, endless and easy. It is along a journey that your productive habits will form. A journey sounds something like this:

“I want to cultivate a love of exercise.”

“I want to learn to enjoy building wealth.”

“I want to enhance my enjoyment of time with my family.”

You’ll never complete these journeys and that’s exactly the point. It is only through consistent practice that you will actually form habits and fulfill your potential. What you do along the journey is less important; you’ll figure that out as you go. The important thing is to keep walking the journey free from the pressure of completing a specific goal. But how can your ensure you keep walking your journey?

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These alternative ways to focus on your goals are probably great for some goals, but not for others. If for example, your goal is to make £5,000 per month in 6 months time, then this financial target will help you to break down what you need to do in order to reach that goal. I’m not sure creating habits like “I want to learn to enjoy building wealth” as he suggests will be so effective. How will you break down your journey? How will you plan your days/weeks? What do you think?

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