The problem with being goal-oriented

couple standing on mountain

A few months before I decided to quit my job and move, I'd made a whole timeline of accomplishments I hoped to reach within the next three to five years. It included a series of backup plans, too, should Plan A not work out (Plan A: become a hugely successful writer, make lots of money, buy a home in Malibu, take many naps). This timeline included mini-goals of what I hoped to accomplish within a month, year, three years, etc. It included a breakdown of expenses. It also included different scenarios. I asked myself: What would it take for me to give up and move back? In short, it was goal oriented and painstakingly meticulous.

Which was fine, but you could read my stress and neurosis all over it. I showed the timeline to a friend of mine, proudly.

“This is depressing,” she said.

“What are you talking about?” I asked, grabbing it from her. “These are my goals!”

“I know,” she said. “But this takes all the fun out of it.”

“What am I supposed to do, just leave my job and move without having any sort of plan?”

“Well, no,” she said, still glaring at my blueprint. “But, wow. You're taking something fun and turning it into a huge chore.”

After a while, I realized she had a point. I do have a habit of sucking the fun right out of things. A couple of times in the past few years, I've been lucky enough to work on projects of which I'm quite proud. But, more importantly, they're projects that should have been enjoyable.

But I buzzkilled them. I focused less on what I was doing and more on what I hoped to do after the project was over. I made goals — lofty ones — and I stressed myself out when I didn't reach them or when I changed my mind about them altogether.

Lately, I've been reading a lot about the idea that goals are bunk. Most of what I read seems to originate from Scott Adams, the creator of Dilbert and author of How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life. He writes:

“Goals are for losers. For example, if your goal is to lose ten pounds, you will spend every moment until you reach the goal — if you reach it at all — feeling as if you were short of your goal. In other words, goal-oriented people exist in a state of nearly continuous failure that they hope will be temporary. That feeling wears on you. In time, it becomes heavy and uncomfortable. It might even drive you out of the game.”

I've been a “goal-oriented” person my entire life. That career blueprint? It wasn't a first. At 10, I made similar plans for how I expected to spend all of my years on this planet. It included career milestones, romantic milestones — even the age at which I planned to have children.

Who knew an entire life could so neatly fit on three sheets of 8×10 scrap paper, taped together?

In my own experience, I've come to realize Adams is right. I've shifted my focus from goals to my day-to-day satisfaction and productivity. And I do feel less worn down. I feel happier.

The Problem With Focusing on Goals

If you're a goal-oriented person, it can be hard to buy this idea. I get it. When my friend told me I was sucking the joy out of my life by creating goals, I thought she was crazy. I needed to plan this move responsibly, and that included being realistic about the crazy idea of moving halfway across the country to write for a living.

But whether it's switching careers or paying off debt, here's the problem with taking goals too far.

Goals Separate the Present From the Future

For me, the biggest issue with focusing on goals is that it creates a future self that is so very different from my present self. We've discussed the importance of linking your present self with your future self — focusing on the present actually helps you reach a goal faster. It's easy to put off a goal that seemingly has little to do with you. That's why people often don't save for retirement until their later years. In our 20s, we're so far away from retirement, our retired self is basically a stranger.

Related >> How to Start a Roth IRA

But here's a personal example of how focusing on goals divides the present and future self.

When I was paying off debt, I became obsessed with my goal. And that sounds great, except that I didn't connect my debt-free future self to my present savings habits. Like a lot of people, I overshot my debt payoff and made things worse by over-drafting on my accounts and busting my budget.

Related >> Which Online High-Yield Savings Account is Best

It would have been better to focus on what my actual spending habits were and then create a budget based on reality, not what I hope reality will be. In that case, being overly focused on my financial goal backfired.

Related >> Your Budget Isn't Working — Here's Why

Goals Focus on What You Don't Have

It's wonderful to strive for more, but I've found that focusing on goals usually leads me to focus on what I don't have. And that's problematic for a couple of reasons:

  • It makes me a little depressed that I haven't already reached that goal.

  • If I never reach that goal, I'm even more depressed.
  • It makes me a little dissatisfied and ungrateful for what I do have.

When you focus on goals, you're either focused on reaching them or making them. There's never a time when you're just enjoying the journey. Adams writes:

“If you achieve your goal, you celebrate and feel terrific, but only until you realize you just lost the thing that gave you purpose and direction. Your options are to feel empty and useless, perhaps enjoying the spoils of your success until they bore you, or set new goals and reenter the cycle of permanent pre-success failure.”

I can totally relate. A few years ago, when I nabbed an awesome gig that I spent months hoping I'd get, I celebrated for like five minutes and then moved on to the next goal.

But Goals Still Serve a Purpose

I originally titled this post, “Why I'm giving up on goals.” But I realized that wasn't entirely accurate because I still have goals in my life and they still serve a purpose.

After all, there are certain accomplishments, financial and otherwise, that I'd still like to achieve in life; and if I don't decide on making them, how will I know what to work toward?

I suppose it's more that I'm done with focusing on goals. Instead, I prefer to focus on the process — or, as Adams puts it, a system:

“For our purposes, let's say a goal is a specific objective that you either achieve or don't sometime in the future. A system is something you do on a regular basis that increases your odds of happiness in the long run. If you do something every day, it's a system. If you're waiting to achieve it someday in the future, it's a goal.”

Building a Process for Your Goals

Goals are something you hope to make happen; the process is the work it actually takes to get there. To me, it makes more sense to put your time, effort and focus on the latter. Adams uses dieting as an example. Rather than focusing on losing 20 pounds, focus on incorporating better food options into your day-to-day diet. It's practical, tangible, and it makes your goal more of a reality.

Work backward

To create a process for my goals, I work backward. Here's how:

  • State the goal: I make a declaration of what I want to do.

  • Create smaller milestones: I won't throw goals out the window, and I won't throw mini-goals out the window either. I ask myself what smaller goals it will take to reach the larger one.

  • Create actionable steps: Based on those smaller milestones, I focus on what I need to do, regularly, to make something happen. What actionable steps do I need to take on a regular basis?

  • Incorporate: I find a way to weave those steps into my daily or weekly routine.

Without realizing it, I created a process, or system, for a goal I actually reached this year: Maxing out my IRA. There's a pretty firm number on what it takes to reach that goal: $5,500.

I created a smaller milestone. It would take me about $458 a month to reach that goal. What actionable steps did I need to take on a regular basis? Well, that was easy. I needed to pay myself first each month, in the amount of $458.

Related >> Pay Yourself First

And how could I incorporate that step into my everyday life? I had one client that paid about that same amount each month, give or take $50. I decided each check from that client would automatically be deposited into my savings, not my checking.

Later on in the year, I decided to boost my savings. I didn't focus on the goal — the $5,500 — I focused on my present pay, and the actionable steps I needed to take. Before I even realized it, my goal was reached.

I've found that it also helps to add triggers to my environment — mechanisms that force me (or at least coerce me) to focus on the process. Going back to the diet example, this would mean keeping your fridge stocked with healthy foods. This forces you to incorporate a better diet into your daily routine. Autopay is another example of this. Triggers help create a process. And a process transforms your goal from an abstract hope to a plan of action.

What do you guys think: Can it backfire to obsess over goals? Was I silly for trying to plot out my career in that way, and does it make more sense to focus more on the process? I'd like to know what you've found to be true in your own experience.

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Sisekelo Buthelezi
Sisekelo Buthelezi
5 years ago

No I don’t think there’s any problem with being dedicated to your goals. I mean if you set clear achievable goals for yourself than that will push you to work hard, establish yourself and give you a sense of accomplishment as a result of your success.

Brian
Brian
5 years ago

Even good and necessary things can be taken too far. Goals, I guess, can fall into that category if you’re obsessing over them to the point where they become a source of depression. If that’s the case you need to find a way not to obsess over your goals. The same advice applies to anything that’s become a similar problem. I find it curious, though, that in this article and other similar one’s that I’ve read purporting to solve the “problem” with setting goals is that they all eventually recommend . . . setting goals. They call it something different,… Read more »

JJ
JJ
5 years ago
Reply to  Brian

Leaving aside my other post, setting and achieving a goal, ticking off the achievements on the way is a lot of fun for many people.
It’s not always the glaring-eyed death process some list-haters make of it! 😉

Some goals are more emotionally meaningful than others too.

Kristin Wong
Kristin Wong
5 years ago
Reply to  Brian

I think that’s why I used the word “focus” so much. It’s less about goals vs. process and more about making goals but then focusing on the process.

Of course, if focusing on goals instead of the process works for you, then that’s great! For me, though, I’ve found that creating a day-to-day plan of action for those goals makes me more productive. It makes the goal more present, if that makes sense?

getagrip
getagrip
5 years ago
Reply to  Brian

I agree with this interpretation that you still have to make a plan and execute it if you want to achieve something, whether you call it a goal or a process the bottom line is the same. I find the place where people seem to fail is in execution of the 3rd and 4th bullets, the actual execution. Either they make those things too hard to actually live with or they make excuses why they aren’t able to achieve them. In the first case, they need to adjust expectations or refocus what they are doing. In the second, it’s not… Read more »

Mrs PoP
Mrs PoP
5 years ago

Kristen – did you see my comment the other day? (#3 on this post – https://www.getrichslowly.org/the-happiness-of-pursuit/) I think we are probably very similar when it comes to goals and our personalities and it’s definitely a challenge sometimes to keep “goal achievement” from sucking the fun out of things. I’ve gotten better as I’ve aged (I’m remembering now the 10-year plan I put together at 21, 10 years ago, and can’t believe how detailed it was and how much stress it caused me to think about it at that time). I think most of my improvements in handling the stress of… Read more »

Kristin Wong
Kristin Wong
5 years ago
Reply to  Mrs PoP

Ha! Those are my thoughts exactly. It is a challenge. Not every goal is going to be fun–it takes work, but the journey should include more good times than stressful times, or they payoff should at least make up for it. I have a bad habit of dismissing the payoff if I do achieve the goal. So I don’t even enjoy it. When something good happens, instead of taking it in, I move on to the next thing. Trying to break that habit and learn that it’s okay to enjoy life 🙂

Patrick
Patrick
5 years ago

I do strongly believe that Adams is just arguing semantics. His whole process that he describes is THE way to effectively set and accomplish goals. Anyone who has a good grasp on goal setting knows that every goal should be broken down into smaller, more achievable components. When I go hiking on a trail, I’m not out to finish the trail, but I do pay attention to the sign posts to remind myself that I am still on the right trail. Likewise, with my own goals I don’t obsesses over every detail, but use a visual reminder of my long-term… Read more »

JJ
JJ
5 years ago

I don’t think it’s a bad thing to plot our your goals, especially if you’re doing it with reference to the way you work. Unfortunately I’ve found I my case it’s generally useless to really want something even if I work hard towards it because it usually gets ruined by someone else. Eg – a recent goal, of mine was to improve my dental health so I changed my diet and changed a few other things. I went to the dentist and got some things fixed, then 2 separate dentists deliberately wrecked three healthy teeth without my consent and one… Read more »

CheapMom@SimpleCheapMom
5 years ago

I need goals in my life otherwise I just flounder. But I did resonate when you talked about dividing my present self and my ideal life. I really do enjoy the life I’ve already created for myself. But I do have dreams. I realized that many of points of the life I dream of I could incorporate today. That way I’d be more on a goal/dream spectrum instead of my life. clean cut. dream life.

getagrip
getagrip
5 years ago

Sometimes we need to take a moment and appreciate the goals we’ve already accomplished and what we actually have. It’s a good idea to lift your nose from the grindstone and look around once in a while. If nothing else it helps you determine if you’re moving in the right direction and if not you make adjustment before getting back to the grindstone.

Harran
Harran
5 years ago

Amazing I am now reading a book called “A Practicing Mind: Developing Focus And Discipline In Your Life” by Thomas Sterner, that basically talks about the same concept of focusing on the process and not the product (goal). He even talked about how focusing on the process makes the task more fun because 1) you are in the now/present and 2) You are not constantly judging yourself in a negative way, against your goal or outcome. Nice (and probably timely) article.

Genevieve @PFTwins
Genevieve @PFTwins
5 years ago

Kristin, I totally get it! I’ve been goal oriented my entire life, too. I used to have all these five year plans, one year plans, and all of these detailed (and competing) goals. I spent years trying to find the perfect career, city, and so on, mostly without taking any action. I’ve just recently began letting go of trying to create a perfect future. Instead, I have a general direction I want to go and a primary goal in my mind. Right now, that’s creating a sustainable business.Then I can ask myself — what can I do today to further… Read more »

Old Guy
Old Guy
5 years ago

Wow. Making goals and having a plan to achieve them made me miserable, so you shouldn’t do it. Unless you do it differently than I did, then you can set goals and not be miserable and still achieve them. This post exhausted me to my very core. And worse, I believe many will hear “Don’t make goals, but strive to be happy,” and incorporate that flawlessly into a life of mediocrity or worse. Indeed, that is what people who don’t read about finance at all are doing already. I guess Old Guy is a fitting moniker for me. I don’t… Read more »

Kristin Wong
Kristin Wong
5 years ago
Reply to  Old Guy

…But that’s not at all what I’m saying. In fact, I even address that concern:

“I originally titled this post, “Why I’m giving up on goals.” But I realized that wasn’t entirely accurate because I still have goals in my life and they still serve a purpose.

After all, there are certain accomplishments, financial and otherwise, that I’d still like to achieve in life; and if I don’t decide on making them, how will I know what to work toward?”

Scooze
Scooze
5 years ago

Hmmmm good food for thought. I think the problem lies more in the appropriateness of the goals and needing to celebrate the small wins. If all you think about is the ultimate “big” goal, then of course you will always be working and never having any fun. The journey of your life is just as important as what you accomplish. The key is to focus on the current goal – what do you want to accomplish this month, this week, today? And find a way to reward yourself for each of those wins. This is also where following your passions… Read more »

Anne
Anne
5 years ago

I think this is well thought out. I have been changing some of my “have to watch the scale move” goals to “eat healthier” and that’s good enough.

And also it occurs to me that some of us who might be over goal-oriented is the need for power over and structure in our lives. It’s down in our genes.

lmoyant
lmoyant
5 years ago

This sounded like me a few months ago (also right before quitting my job of 5 years). I’ll never be able to stop making goals (once a goalcoholic, always a goalcoholic), however Ive been practicing on focusing on what I hope to achieve from reaching a goal, rather than the goal itself. This hopefully will deter me from getting addicted to simply the feeling of reaching a goal, and help me concentrate on the genuine purpose for setting the goal. For example, what is the purpose of “x” goal? Make more money, have more time, be happier (more naps? lol!)?… Read more »

Beard Better
Beard Better
5 years ago

I have to be honest, this post pretty much exemplifies what I hate about the cult of self-improvement insofar as it has integrated a lot of New Age ideas. Let’s take a look at some of the things that were written here. 1. “But, wow. You’re taking something fun and turning it into a huge chore.” What your friend is really saying here is that you’re reducing your risk and making the outcome somewhat more predictable. Major life decisions shouldn’t be made purely based on what is fun; being prudent has its place. Perhaps your friend comes from a wealthy… Read more »

Kristin Wong
Kristin Wong
5 years ago
Reply to  Beard Better

Oddly, I agree with almost everything you say. Which makes me think I just didn’t express myself clearly enough in this post. So let me try to do a better job… 1. “Major life decisions shouldn’t be made purely based on what is fun; being prudent has its place.” Thing is, I was switching careers to do something more fun. I spent years saving up and preparing for this switch. Let me try a different example. Let’s say your goal is to retire. And you spend years working toward it, and then when it gets close, you plot out every… Read more »

Beard Better
Beard Better
5 years ago
Reply to  Kristin Wong

It seems we actually agree for the most part about goals not being the issue in and of themselves, so I’ll address your other point about gratitude. I don’t think that gratitude and dissatisfaction are mutually exclusive and, more generally, I think it is healthy to have both positive and negative feelings; that underlying idea is what I was getting at when I mentioned my annoyance with the New Age influence. To me, what “positive thinking” people (and now I’m speaking generally, not trying to put words in your mouth) call “showing gratitude” seems indistinguishable from putting on horse blinders… Read more »

Kristin Wong
Kristin Wong
5 years ago
Reply to  Beard Better

Oh, no need to apologize! I was originally going to mention it in the post–I didn’t mean to imply that you coerced it out of me. It doesn’t make me uncomfortable. (But how kind of you to address that–thanks 🙂 ) Regarding the other stuff, I see what you mean. And I guess I can see how the article would appeal to that way of thinking. I think we’re both arguing the point against two different extremes: yours against the “sweep under the rug” mentality, and mine against the “workaholic, life isn’t supposed to be fun/constantly stressed” mentality, which is… Read more »

phoenix1920
phoenix1920
5 years ago
Reply to  Beard Better

@Beard Better: I disagree that one needs to be dissatisfied in order to be successful in their goals. First, there is a big difference between being “dissatisfied” and not being perfectly satisfied. Second, I love change in general and always have an impetus to improve or to do things different. To me, it’s like going out to eat at a favorite restaurant. I hate always ordering the same thing, even though I may have had the perfect meal there before, because I want to see if something else is even better. I may be perfectly happy with how my house… Read more »

Beard Better
Beard Better
5 years ago
Reply to  phoenix1920

If I were satisfied at my current weight, I would not bother trying to lose weight because doing so wouldn’t make me any happier. If I were satisfied with my current income, I wouldn’t try to do things to make more money because doing so wouldn’t make me any happier. While I didn’t say that dissatisfaction is necessary to achieve your self-improvement goals, as you’ve paraphrased me, I don’t understand how you could argue that wanting to improve yourself (by whatever criteria you decide on) doesn’t have to start from a place of dissatisfaction. And that’s okay! It’s perfectly fine… Read more »

Lisa S
Lisa S
5 years ago

I came to a similar realization earlier this year. I’m all about goals but my husband never sets them and seems to give little consideration to the future. However, he has been very successful in life and is quite content. This has always annoyed me- how has he ended up with a PhD from MIT, a job he loves, and a happy family without goals and plans and mission statements?! I finally realized that he does put a little thought into the future but he puts MOST of his energy into the present, in large part because things are constantly… Read more »

Shasha
Shasha
5 years ago
Reply to  Lisa S

Oh my god, this is so true. My husband LOOKS like he doesn’t have plans at all – but he’s the one who earns more than twice as I do, enjoys his job and the company of his teammates, goes to work with all the traffic still happy, and comes back home like he just won the lottery. Honestly, I envy him but now I see it. He lives in the NOW. Yes, he is a goal-oriented person, but he never bothers to think about them every time. When we talk about goals, he’s always ready to tell me his… Read more »

Kayla @ Femme Frugality
Kayla @ Femme Frugality
5 years ago

I have always been a goal oriented person too, but like you said I do feel down until I reach my goals. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to stop setting at least some goals, but I am trying to set less and make them more reasonable/reachable.

Mrs Random
Mrs Random
5 years ago

Thanks for this article. It resonated with me. Looking ahead all the time gets to be a habit. I really liked the quotes about living in the constant state of failure. I’m trying to change my focus from long term goals on the horizon to maintaining everyday habits that build to it.

Lizzy
Lizzy
5 years ago

I think you are onto something. If I make a goal to lose, say, 10 lbs in 2 months I cannot seem to achieve it. A few years ago, however, I booked a cruise 7 weeks before the sail date. I decided to focus on walking a certain amount of miles everyday,,,,I love walking….plus eating a certain amount of fruit,vegetables, proteins, and carbs. I lost 25 lbs in those 7 weeks. Likewise, I love gardening, I used to spend as much spare time in the garden as I possibly could. Then I started setting goals….have this cleared out by tomorrow,… Read more »

sarah
sarah
5 years ago

I think you’re confusing goal oriented with negative. I’m very goal oriented. When I’m working toward a goal, I find it thrilling and exciting, I almost get giddy. If you’re stressing about every little thing on the way to a goal and feeling like a failure it’s not because of the goal, it’s because of your thinking. I’d recommend CBT which is designed to combat the negative thoughts patterns that foster anxiety.

Allan
Allan
5 years ago

Hi, I like the way you think. I think that humans have a tendency to get things organized and planned in that society. Someone is now single, we have to find him or her someone. A couple is toghetter for a little… people say they should get married. A business is doing good, but hey.. we could optimize it.. Humans… At least occidentals, don’t like emptyness, grey zones… they want things fixed and planned. As such, trying to plan everything, trying to plan you life to the minute is a “normal” behavior. But it can put a lot of unnecessary… Read more »

Jeff
Jeff
5 years ago

Does anyone else find irony in this website’s name? I commend the authors for trying to teach us how to become rich, but the real truth is that rich people do not get rich slowly. Most rich people get rich quickly. Think about it. How can you become rich averaging a 10% annual return, especially within a tax-deferred retirement account? You’re going to scrimp and save only to live on the equivalent of poverty income when you retire? Ninety percent of retirees who followed that path do live on poverty income. Do the math and make a logical conclusion. If… Read more »

Neil
Neil
5 years ago
Reply to  Jeff

Hi Jeff, It really is possible to “get rich” slowly. I suppose it depends on what your meaning of “rich” is, but some of us (maybe many of us) can achieve financial independence and retire early without “hitting it big” in any meaningful way. I am one example. I am 40 years old and married. I started my first (software engineering) job right out of college with a -$30K net worth (student loans). I invested in my 401k, paid very aggressively on my loans, later maxed out the 401k, and then started investing more outside the 401k. I have taken… Read more »

Prudence Debtfree
Prudence Debtfree
5 years ago

I understand what you mean when you say, “When you focus on goals, you’re either focused on reaching them or making them. There’s never a time when you’re just enjoying the journey.” I have had the experience of becoming obsessive or terribly anxious when it comes to goals, and that’s a problem. But I believe that as we accept what is beyond our control and give ourselves the flexibility to fine-tune methods of reaching goals – so that they’re more in tune with who we are – it becomes possible to enjoy the journey. My debt blog includes “One Couple’s… Read more »

Jan
Jan
5 years ago

You don’t need goals. All you need is direction.

ChinoF
ChinoF
5 years ago

I believe that goal-orientation is sometimes convoluted by magical voluntarism, The Secret and the motivational business. Or even conservative views about “success.” If you don’t achieve your goals, you’re morally deficit or something like that. Totally wrong. For me, goals are simply because you need to get something done. You need to pay off debt, and so you set goals for it. You need a car or house, so you set a goal to help you buy it. You need to accomplish some work, so goals are set to help you in it. Motivational stuff befuddles it with “feelings of… Read more »

phoenix1920
phoenix1920
5 years ago

Is it possible that you have merged two different subjects: being goal-oriented and obsessing on the result of the goal? I LOVE to plan, which means I love making goals. I love the thought of creating a 3-page document where I consider the goals, plan out back-up plans, and list them. I also love to dream about the future–both of these are pleasurable activities that give me joy. I love your advice about the actionable steps to get to the goals, which is exactly what I do, but I am confused about why goal-oriented people don’t automatically do this. I… Read more »

Linda Vergon
5 years ago

(This comment came from Gary, a reader of our daily newsletter.) I burned out on goals after about the twentieth time management seminar. It seemed my goals (bigger salary, better job, etc.) were somehow dependent on other people. They didn’t respond to my goal setting. I no longer set real specific goals. They are more general and they have little to do with money since I am now retired. My wife and I do at least one long distance (1,500 miles or more) bicycle ride each year – of course we have a goal to reach our final destination and… Read more »

Linda Vergon
5 years ago

(This comment came from Louise, a reader of our daily newsletter.) Thank you so much for this article; they are ALL great, but this one is so simple. Often, even though something is simple, it is not easy. This principle is both! Keeping the practice in mind each and every day actually removes the stress of it all. I’ve learned this very thing just in the last couple of months, and now reading it in print is absolutely the meaningful aha! It proves to keep us the good steward the Lord wants us to be, not just with money, but… Read more »

Robert F.
Robert F.
5 years ago

Thought-provoking article. I have always been a goal oriented but now I am thinking about this matter in a different way… After all, people are more important than their goals…

Saagar
Saagar
5 years ago

I think the problem is not with the goals but woth expectations. You need to leave a buffer to any goal timeframe and also not beat up yourself about it. It is like New year resolutions when gyms make a lot of money. Set the goal too toghtly wound and you will never reach it. Set it too loose and you will lose interest aling the way. It is all abou balance.

Ed
Ed
5 years ago

It seems to me that the issue here is not goals per se, but an unhealthy focus on goals. Ruminating on anything (including healthy behaviors) can be psychologically unhealthy. I think your auto-mated approach is a good one and short-circuits our unreliable “rational” mind. The only set goal I have each day is to exercise, which I manage to do more often than not (because It’s not “Exercise for 4 hours”). And even if I fail one day, I know that I’ve done it consistently for 6 days that week and I don’t feel so bad. I’ve automated all my… Read more »

Tre
Tre
5 years ago

I think you have to find a happy balance. Not too obsessed, but a goal in place. I tend to do the same thing and get totally wrapped up in the goal and not the road to get there.

Michael S
Michael S
5 years ago

This is a great article. Being goal-oriented is so positively advertised, that many don’t realize the pitfalls of going to far with it.

Carole Johansen
Carole Johansen
11 months ago

I have had a “five-year plan” every fives years of my life starting at 35 years old. I wish I had done it sooner. It works like a charm. No stress, but every goal achieved. I write down what I would like to achieve in the next five years. Then I proceed to break each achievement down , like a book report outline. ie. get a new car. The spin off goals would be: decide what type of car I would like, check prices, start saving if you don’t have enough money, check out interest rates if you buy it… Read more »

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