Setting goals is an important part of getting on the path to creating the results that you really want. But sometimes, setting goals is not an appropriate thing to be doing. Here are 3 reasons why you should NOT be setting goals

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3 reasons why you should NOT be setting goals

Clear the decks for successSetting goals is an important part of getting on the path to creating the results that you really want.

But sometimes, setting goals is not an appropriate thing to be doing.

Here are:

3 reasons why you should NOT be setting goals

1. You are already feeling overwhelmed with everything you have on your plate.

If you are feeling like this, adding new goals into the mix is a recipe for creating even more overwhelm. As a result, your chances of turning your goals into reality are greatly reduced. It makes much more sense to focus on taking action to deal with your feelings of overwhelm first.

2. Your time and energy is taken up by managing the noise and urgency of day to day life

If this sounds like you, you might want to read “Why your to-do list is killing your results.” Being in a perpetual state of managing day to day noise is what I call “hamster wheel syndrome.” – you are probably peddling really hard and fast, but don’t feel like you are moving forward to what you really want. Being in the grip of hamster wheel syndrome and setting new goals is not a good combination for success.

3. Your schedule is already constantly full

Setting and achieving goals only happens where there is time and space to think, plan and take new actions. If your schedule is already constantly full achieving new goals isn’t going to happen.

Setting goals and then taking action to turn them into reality requires time, space and energy.

If your mental and physical space is already overloaded you are not in a good position to be setting goals that will become tangible results.

So, what is the solution? How can you effectively deal with the three points above to put yourself in a great position to set goals that you have the time, space and energy to work on?

Well, the answer is to focus on clearing the decks before you go rushing off into setting goals.

Clearing the decks is about dealing with the things that might be getting in the way of achieving your goals because they drain your energy and dominate your mental space and physical time

Imagine you have just bought a building site and wanted to build your dream home on it. You wouldn’t just steam ahead and start building your house.

You would clear the site first of all the rubbish and debris that is on it to give yourself a good, clear solid space for building what you want.

The same is true for setting yourself up to succeed with setting and achieving your goals. You need to clear the decks first.

Download your free Set Yourself Up To Succeed self assessment workbook.

  • Great advice. It’s always better to review where things are and where we are before we set goals and decide where we want to go next.

  • Very true. It helps avoid making false starts or heading off in wrong direction

  • Hi Ali,
    What you’re saying makes total sense and I like the illustration you’re using about clearing the field before you actually build the house. This is why so many people fail with goals, they haven’t clear the clutter first.
    By the way, I wanted to let you know that I’ve just published a post as a tribute to Judy Martin. You and someone else were the only two people who were nice enough to let me know that my post happened to be her last tweet.

  • Hi Sylviane, welcome to my blog. Thanks for letting me know about your tribute post to Judy. Will head over to your website now and check it out. Thanks for dropping by.

  • All terrific points. Clearing the decks, and desk! Otherwise I’m setting myself up for failure, and who needs that? Great post Ali!

  • Ali Davies

    Jennifer, the power of having a clear the decks approach is in making it part of your weekly and monthly routines. That way, things never build up to such an extent that they gets in your way.

  • I’ve never been able to accomplish anything amidst clutter and chaos. Good advice, Ali.

  • Ali Davies

    I am similar Barbara. I like nice clear, minimalist type space – both personally and professionally.

  • Estelle Sobel Erasmus

    I like setting goals, but I can see how if someone is overwhelmed with their lives it can be just one more thing to add to the plate.

  • I am a big fan of setting goals too Estelle – so powerful in the quest to design the life and results you really want. But important to make sure we are setting ourselves up to succeed before we start!

  • carla birnberg

    OMGOSH I ADORE THIS. I am a firm believer in the notion of sometimes rolling goal free and just not sllpping backward is a huge victory.

  • I like to set goals but agree, you’ve got to clear your plate first so it’s not overwhelming!

  • Totally agree. I think that the bigger the goal, the more time, space, and energy one needs. If your daily to do list is too long, you’ll never get to the goals and that will only discourage you more.

  • Thanks Carla. Delighted you liked it.

  • Hi Nancy, I think it is a pwoerful way to set ourselves up to succeed.

  • Very true Anita. Important to make space for what is most important otherwise the noise and demands of less important things become all consuming.

  • So, you mean people shouldn’t set new goals? I agree, especially bloggers. We are already inundated.

  • Hi Janice, I am all for setting goals, but it is important that we do so from a position that will set us up to succeed and not to leap into it from a place that is detrimental to achieving those goals or our health and wellbeing. .

  • SharonGreenthal

    As you know, I’ve recently made a big change and though it was daunting, I went with my gut.

  • Hi Sharon, congrats on your big change. Onwards and upwards.