Recently, in the press there seems to have been a preponderance of articles from naysayers about how goal setting does not work. A raft of highly qualified psychiatrists, psychologists and doctors have been rolled out to make this point. Heavily armed with statistical “proof” they have sought to rain all over the parade ground of anyone wanting to set themselves a goal to get fit, lose weight, spend more time with their children, make more sales or be more successful at work.
The media has form. If they don’t understand something, if it doesn’t make sense to them or if it’s easy to have a pop at, they will do so. Good news does not sell papers and it does not keep people watching the television. If you haven’t achieved something yourself, it’s a lot easier to take a swipe at others trying to achieve the extraordinary that it is to acknowledge that maybe you yourself did not have enough drive and just gave up on your more ambitious dreams.
But that can’t be true because they have statistics. Proof. Proof that for most people, goal setting just does not work. People set goals and then make no progress towards achieving them. People set goals and then do not stick to them. People set goals and then do not reach them. People set goals and then forget about them.
The clear message is, “If you’re going to fail, then why bother setting goals anyway?” Watch out if you don’t want to let the cult of the naysayer steal your dreams.
And, for most people, this is true. Goal setting does not work. Goal setting is a waste of time. Goal is just another reminder that you just aren’t cut out to be successful. Some business models are structured around this whole principle. In the fitness industry, gyms expect a large influx of new members in the New Year and know that most people will never or rarely use the gym. If they did, they would be in big trouble.
So far, so true but that depends on how you look at things and what you want from your life. Ask yourself a different question and you will get a different answer…
Do you want to be ordinary?
Do you want to be ordinary? Do you want to be like everybody else? Do you want to give up on your dreams and desires? Do you want to look back on your life and say, “If only I had… got fitter / been a better parent / travelled more / written a book / followed the career path I wanted to / lived life to the fullest?”
I know that I don’t. I know that I won’t. What about you?