After my dissatisfaction with a training that had actually achieved its intended goals, I wanted to quick make the point that goals are not inherently worth meeting.

Photo by David M
Photo by David M

My elementary school gym teacher’s favorite platitude was Lombardi’s “Perfect practice makes perfect.”  Practicing bad technique will not leave you with good technique.  I think that there’s a parallel lesson here for goals.  Meeting off-target goals will not put you on-target.  Just as you need to carefully consider what you’re practicing and how, you need to examine whether your goals are actually what you want.

I realized that I have some goals for all of my goals.  I want to feel satisfied.  I want to be in a better place than where I started.  I want to feel proud of the actions I took to achieve the goal; knowing that I did something unethical or deliberately hurtful to achieve my goal would cheapen the whole experience.  It’s also extremely important for me to be able to take a moment to experience the satisfaction and pride I’ve earned, and to look around at the new place I’m in before moving to the next goal.

Knowing this helps me set ambitious goals and stay grounded at the same time.

How do you make sure your goals are actually what you want?
What are your goals for your goals?  How did you set your meta-goals?
Have you ever experienced a major shift in your goals?  How did that go for you?

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