You don't need goals.
And a few other ideas you didn't expect to read from a coach.
I rarely talk about goals with my clients.
And if we do talk about them, they’re an excuse to get to the layers beneath the goals. A helpful starting place, but not the destination of the conversation.
In a world where it’s nearly heretical to dismiss goal setting as unimportant, what in the heck are we supposed to work toward if not goals?
It’s a reasonable question, because dismissing goals feels like we’re dismissing growth; dismissing the very human and humane desire to create some better version of ourselves.
Goals are helpful for one thing.
They immediately force the conversation of actions. When we set a goal, the very next step we take is assigning some sort of action we will take toward that goal.
We make the goal tangible by turning it into a behavior change.
And the behavior change is what drives the growth.
When we look at goals in this way, it’s easier to see that the “goal” is an unnecessary step. It may be helpful in driving clarity about action, and that’s useful. But the goal in and of itself isn’t needed.
Goal —> Desired Behavior Change —> Commitment —> Growth
Goals point to changes that need to be made, but the changes themselves are an internal job. They can’t be externalized onto a goal.
Good habits. Bad habits. Action that needs taking. Action that needs stopping. Our internal dialogue. Our response to inevitable adversity in these changes. Our willingness to continually re-commit. Imposter syndrome. Building a new identity that challenges old beliefs about ourselves.
That’s the actual work of growth.
Goals can point us in a direction but our feet have to do the walking.
It’s why I think coaching can be so powerful.
When you’re trying to create momentum in your life, you will have to wrestle with that actual work of growth. And you need someone that can help be both a mirror and window. Mirrors give clarity to your current state, and windows give clarity where you’re headed.
Friends can play that role. Significant others can play that role. Coaches can play that role.
But it’s very tough to play that role for ourselves. It’s the reason I have a coach and your therapist has a therapist.
We don’t need more goals. Just look at the graveyard of annual goals and resolutions to see how true this is.
We need to do the work of growth.
And we need people in our corner that are willing to be our biggest cheerleader and our most candid critic.
Certified High Performance Coach™
👉 Forward Coaching