The Problem with Goal Setting

The Problem with Setting Goals

I hate goals.

I hate making them.

I hate the guilt of not completing them.

I hate the thought of goals.

To be honest, I believe in goals. I believe in working toward the things you want, whatever that may be. However, the journey often ends in detours on the way to your goal.

Or, in my case, complete failure, although I learn invaluable lessons along the way.

Goal Setting

Nearly everyone has heard of SMART goal setting:

S = Specific

M = Measurable

A = Attainable

R = Realistic

T = Timely

If you research how to set goals, this technique is often one of the first items that pop up. And, if this works for you, that’s fabulous. It doesn’t work for me.

Regardless of how much I set my mind to a specific goal, I never follow through with the steps.

Mostly, when I have a goal in mind, I vaguely stumble around, sometimes reaching the goal, more often not.

The other day, I was listening to Gabriela Pereira of DIY MFA recently speaking during an impromptu Facebook Live presentation. She is one of those people who work hard to reach her goals. During this particularly Live presentation, she shared her process for setting and achieving her goals. Although she admits to being a bit overenthusiastic when it comes to her process, some of the things she discusses resonated with me. Hopefully, you will get something out of it too.

Mind Mapping

Mind mapping is a common technique, familiar to most people. But if you’ve never heard of it, it’s a simple technique.

To mind map, you take a blank piece of paper, put whatever subject you’ve been thinking about and then write down everything you can think of related to that subject.

It can look like this:

When it comes to setting goals, using a mind map can help you to draw out all of those ideas you’ve been carrying in your head. Gabriela recommends multiple mind mapping sessions on the same subject, digging a bit deeper each time you complete one.

I’ve been using this Mind Mapping technique to work on what I want to accomplish in 2018. It is a work in progress.

Reverse Engineered Goals

Once you Mind Mapped something down to its core, the next step is to Reverse Engineer some goals.

What is Reverse Engineered Goals you might ask?

Let’s begin with what reverse engineering is. The definition is “is taking apart an object to see how it works to duplicate or enhance the object.”

So, how does this apply to creating goals?

It’s simple. Begin with the end. Decide on your end goal and work backward.

According to Mark McGuiness, there are a few steps to reverse engineer your goals:

  1. Determine the most basic level of the goal.
  2. Ensure you are committed.
  3. Identify as many steps as possible that are required to reach your goal.
  4. Take action.

Sounds easy, right?

Nothing is ever that easy.

When it comes right down to it, the most difficult one, at least for me, is number 2 – ensure you are committed. Number 4, Take Action, is a close second.

I’m not sure I can define commitment for myself, let alone anyone else. But I think the Mind Mapping sessions you have will give you some idea of your level of commitment.

I’ve come across the thought that goals are dreams that are written down. There is probably some truth to that statement.

As I said, I’m in the process of mind mapping for 2018 and just dabbling in the reverse engineered goals.

If I can ensure my commitment, things are going to happen this year. That is if I can take action to meet my goals.

But that is my challenge.

What are your challenges when it comes to setting and succeeding at goals?

Have a fabulous week!


The Meaning of December

The Meaning of December


It’s finally December and NaNoWriMo is over. For those who missed it, I managed to make it to the 50,000 words and I am still working on it.



I’ve come to realize December means many things:

It’s the last month of the old year.
The holidays have arrived.
We celebrate the returning of the light.
And, for many of us, it is a chance to say goodbye to the old year and say hello to the new year, including setting intentions for how that year will go.

By now, most of us know what to expect from the holidays. Preparations may not be complete but a plan is in place. It’s a matter of checking off the list and hopefully, you will find some time to enjoy the season.

December also means a return to the light. A time when each day brings a few more seconds of light.

December is also a time when we look back on the old year, taking note of what worked and what didn’t. Most of all it is a time to set your intention for the year.

Take a look back:

The focus of this post is to take a look at the previous year, evaluating your growth, successes and even your failures.

1. Did you set goals for 2017? If you did, how did that go? Did you reach your goal? Did you give up? Complete failure?
First of all, regardless of the outcome, I want you to forgive yourself. Forgive any flaws or failures you may have had. Forgive the perceived weakness and that life got in the way.
Secondly, look at the goals you set. For the ones you accomplished, where do you go from here. Is there a next step? Was that one finished? What about the ones that didn’t work quite so well, what kept you from reaching the goal? Was it too broad, not specific enough? Or, did life simply get in the way?

2. If you didn’t set goals, did you have any expectations for the year? Expectations are much more difficult to pin down but we all have them. Did you expect to change your life? Or, expect that things would stay the same? The new year always brings the expectation of hope.

3. What about an intention? I often set a word for the year. I’ve even written about it a few times. Word of the year is a wonderful way to welcome something positive into your life. One year my word was enough. I thought I meant that I am enough but no, the universe took that invitation to see exactly how much enough meant. It was an interesting year.

My favorite way to look back over the past year is to see where you succeeded, regardless of whether or not you set a goal, and where you want to improve.

The Invitation:

The ending of the old year and beginning of the new year is an invitation. An invitation to dream big once again.

Where do you want your life to go?
What do you hope to accomplish?
Who do you want to be at the end of the new year?
How do you want to get there?
Why do you want to go there? Asking about your why is another post.

In the midst of the craziness of this season, I hope you can take a few moments to think over the past year. And, to look forward to the new year. It is a time for hope and intentions. You can make the decision to make this your best year yet. The possibilities are endless.

Until next time,