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The Fewer Goals, The Better


Robby

Leo Babuta, the Zen Habits guy, has been reducing his goals. At first he had a zillion items on his to-do list. Then he went down to only a handful of daily goals. Now he’s at No Goals, and loves it.

If you are not a follower of Zen Habits, it’s worth checking out. Here’s a few paragraphs from “the best goal is no goal

In the past, I’d set a goal or three for the year, and then sub-goals for each month. Then I’d figure out what action steps to take each week and each day, and try to focus my day on those steps.

Unfortunately, it never, ever works out this neatly. You all know this. You know you need to work on an action step, and you try to keep the end goal in mind to motivate yourself. But this action step might be something you dread, and so you procrastinate. You do other work, or you check email or Facebook, or you goof off.

And so your weekly goals and monthly goals get pushed back or side-tracked, and you get discouraged because you have no discipline. And goals are too hard to achieve.

That’s a bit extreme. Most of us need to establish serious goals so we can have some direction and sense of purpose. For me, the right number is about three per day: big tasks that I want to accomplish (or at least advance) each working day.

But I do think Babuta is right that having fewer goals has power. If you aren’t trying to get a million things done, you can really devote yourself to the handful of tasks that actually matter.

How about you, Indy? How many goals do you have? Would you consider having less?

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About the Blogger: Robby Slaughter is a productivity speaker and expert. He is a principal with a AccelaWork, an Indianapolis consulting firm.

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Wed, November 16 2011 » Career Planning and Goal Setting, Personal Organization, Self Development

2 Responses

  1. arader November 21 2011 @ 8:58 pm

    Robby I really like this blog. It reminds me of a friend of mine who just added up the miles that he has run in the last few months. He said that it was over 350. He told me that if he had set a goal of running 350 miles, it would have seemed overwhelming and unreachable. He ran all those miles because he set a goal to run a faster marathon. Running half and whole marathons is a new approach to exercise that has become important to him. He is achieving much more than he expected even though he is being very flexible about his goal setting and minimizing the pressure he is putting on himself. Oh I forgot to tell you, he is almost 70.

    Thanks again for your thoughts and ideas.

    Allen

  2. Robby Slaughter November 22 2011 @ 1:22 am

    Amazing story, Allen! Thanks for sharing.

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