Bzzzzzz…Goal Setting…just another buzz word

“Where will you be in 5 years time?”  I hate that question because my honest answer is “I have absolutely no idea”

I have not set long-term goals for years now.  I learned not to do this from experience, in that every time I wrote down a list of goals I was guaranteed to never, ever achieve them.  It was as if writing them down put them out there in the world and then I started to feel pressure to realise them and then I constantly thought about them and didn’t actually achieve any of them.

My new approach works much better.  No goals, just life.  I get a lot more done that way.  Consider the person who makes a five-year plan full of goals that need to be met.  It looks fantastic on paper (and goal setting, like risk management, is often an exercise in completing a template or populating a spreadsheet) but how does it play out in reality?  I wonder if the person is so focused on the plan that they miss potential opportunities along the way because they are not part of the plan.  Or, worse still, they don’t even notice opportunity when it comes knocking because they have tunnel vision.

At this time each year there is an abundance of information on goal setting to ensure you have your plans in place for the year ahead.  There are theories on the effectiveness of goal setting (and I know them because I taught them to university students)  and in my opinion they are all just bzzzzzzzzzz.  It sounds cool to be setting goals and getting organised doesn’t it?  It shows a logical approach to life and offers a sense of control.  It’s what you “should” be doing, right?

How about, instead of sitting down and putting so much energy into the planning stage, you actually get up and out and do something?  Isn’t life a journey rather than a destination? 

What are your beliefs around goal setting?

What other buzz words are you aware of and what do you think of them?

Where will you be in 5 years time!