I have a little secret that I rarely talk about, except with friends, because it is so apt to be misinterpreted:
I dislike setting goals.
There, I said it.
But sometimes I teach concrete goal setting models to youth. Is that hypocritical?
For me, I am fine teaching things that hold potential value for others, even if the thing does not work for me. Teaching from a place of "Let's explore this and see if it works for you" is a delightful place to live and gets good results, in my experience.
I want to be clear that I am not unproductive. I consider myself efficient and happy with my efforts the majority of the time. I just don't feel a connection to writing down specific accomplishments in a concrete way; it has not worked for me in any sustainable fashion. Benchmark thinking has always felt false for how I interpret the world.
I'm not saying that goal setting does not work for many people, but to throw concrete goal-setting and "writing it down" at people as an answer to leading a productive and lovely, successful life of achievement? Barf-o-rama.
For me, personal efficacy entails:
- What is my direction? (in my work, relationships, endeavor 'x')
- What values do I want to embody?
- What is my moral code?
All I can do is give my best effort. Where I end up is not always up to me.
It would surprise me if there were not others who shared similar ideas about goal setting, but I have only met one person who has expressed this to me. Honestly, I don't go around sharing this model too often, so I haven't opened many doors for conversation on the matter. Perhaps this is because my way of goal-thinking can feel more nebulous, or I have not found the right way to explain it effectively.
Maybe I'll set a goal to figure out how to do that.