Posted | 7 comments


I abhor setting goals. I find it to be a really loathsome task. There was a time in my life, way back in the day when I was much younger and a lot more optimistic, when I actually did set goals. I even achieved some of them. Then time and hard knocks and a lot of unachieved goals later, I just got to the point where I no longer wanted to set any goals. I didn’t want to disappoint myself or anyone around me anymore.

I found that whenever I set goals at least one of the following things happened:

     1. I would commit to some grand scheme only to push myself so hard that I’d burn out before achieving my objective. 

     2. I would become so overwhelmed with either achieving the goal or with all the other things going on in my life that I would give up in frustration. 

     3. I would realize somewhere along the way that I really didn’t want to achieve said goal and be faced with having to abort my plans or finish despite my lack of enthusiasm. 

It was just too much pressure, so for the past ten years or so, I’ve just kind of taken life as it comes, living one day at a time, without a lot of planning. It’s been ok. I worked, took classes, paid off debt, completed various projects, did a chin up, etc. Stuff got done. I just didn’t write out any grand plans. I didn’t name it and then try to claim it. I just lived day to day and anytime great things happened, I looked at it as a bonus.

So, when my friend Sandy presented me with a goal setting program that she was excited about doing and wanted me to do with her, I was not the least bit enthusiastic. My stomach cramped up and I felt an overwhelming sense of dread as she did her best sells pitch trying to convince me to join forces. I’ve seen and done a lot of this in the past, and I’ve failed miserably time and time again. Did I really want to set myself for more heartache? 

Out of respect for Sandy, I agreed to look over the program. The well done sales video made it look promising, but I’m no rube. I’ve been pitched and disappointed before. Sandy and I met, and she showed me the materials. She had already worked through most of the worksheets. I had to admit that it really seemed doable. Feeling optimistic, I agreed to give the program a try. 

Like I said, living without goals and just taking life day by day has worked out pretty well for me. I could keep going like I am for the rest of my life and continue to have a pretty nice existence.

That being said, if I’m completely honest with myself, I know there are things I want to do that living the way I live now won’t allow me to achieve. I know that if I want new things, different things, I’m going to have to push out of my comfort zone. I know that I’m going to need to set some real goals for myself and make solid plans to get there.  

For the next couple of weeks, this goal setting program will be my focus. I’m not looking forward to it. I’m not good at asking for what I want. I have a difficult time receiving goodness when it shows up. I find it near impossible no to feel like I deserve anymore then what I have right now. 

For me, it’ll be a lot more then just writing down a list of cool stuff I want to achieve. For me, it’ll be breaking through a lot of barriers, tearing down a lot of walls, and wrestling with a lot of demons. I think the time is now. It’s time for new, time for different, time for amazing. Or it’s time to flame out and crash and burn. Either way, at least I tired. 


  1. Me.. Sitting here wondering, “Who am *I* to think I can accomplish these goals? Half the time I’m so stymied by my own waffling and ineffectiveness that I really don’t believe I can achieve what I have written down. The other half the time, I’m baffled by what I should do next to move in the right direction. And the third half of time (yes, I know that doesn’t add up, but right now–I don’t add up), I am distracted by, “OH .. Maybe I want to do THAT INSTEAD!!” :-O I am excited by the program and prospects and thought that maybe it can lead us to where we think we want to go (at any given moment), but don’t for a split-microsecond think that *I* have it all together here!! :-O

    • Yep, all the same thoughts floating in my head. I’m finally on step three.

  2. I look forward to hearing more about this, Denise. Sending you lots of love and strength as you tackle this new challenge!

  3. Yay! Great attitude! You DO deserve it!

  4. Denise, I tend to take life as it comes, too. Goals? A necessary evil, at best — until you shed this well-timed light on the dynamics involved. Not setting goals is a decision to stay the same. I want more than that. Thank you, my friend.

    • It’s only my desire to not stay the same that keeps me inching forward.

  5. Hi Denise,
    I loved reading your honesty about goal setting. I teach a goal setting class and have dedicated much of my coaching practice to helping folks create goals they love. The reason that I love working with goals so much is because I think they are a creation of the future. BUT, and this is a big but, only if you go about looking at them in the right way. I prefer to think of my goals as dreams (I actually hate the word goals). And one of the things that I think causes the downfall of so many goals is that we don’t really analyze WHY we want to achieve a certain goal. For many of us, we decide upon a goal in a sort of haphazard way, and then wonder why we aren’t motivated to achieve it. Anyhow, love that you posted about this. Keep us posted on how it’s going!!


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