Don’t Set Goals in 2021

Control what you can control; focus on your efforts, not the outcomes.

Ultimate Well-Being Program reframes your mind to get excited, be thankful, and recognize accomplishments.

I had an interview in late 2019, I really wanted that job, I thought.

The recruiter asked me, “Where do you want to be in 5 years?”

I replied, “Right where I am, in this seat, working hard.”

She replied, “Excuse me? You have no goals?”

I said, “Nope. I used to set lofty goals and realized I could never control them. Then, I became depressed. Setting goals is an outdated process. I live my life with 3-month deliverables and put my best effort into those.“

She said, “That’s different.”

I replied, “Yeah, I’m different. It’s best for my well-being.”

What I really learned from that interview was that I had a bad case of mis-wanting. This is another a common misthinking we teach in Ultimate Well-Being. I didn’t really want that job.

Later on, what she learned was that I was right. Neither of us knew a pandemic would occur, and any goals I would have set would have been washed away.

If there is one thing we all learned in 2020, it’s that we can’t control or plan the future. But, we can control our habits, thoughts, and responses. That’s a core tenet of Ultimate Well-Being: By creating habits, control what you can control. We can control our efforts and our excitement for life, activities, relationships, and jobs.

Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “With the past, I have nothing to do; nor with the future. I live now.”

So this year, Don’t set goals! Live now. Ralph and I aren’t the only ones who say this; Jennifer Cohen at Forbes does too.  Wake up every day and write down what you are excited to do, what you are thankful for, or how you want to add more joy to your life. Ryan Paugh agrees and beats me to the punch on this one.

This morning I wrote:

I’m excited to make this awesome PowerPoint for UWB

I’m excited to see my niece after school

I’m thankful I have enough friends — who didn’t unsubscribe from my email list — to send this to.

I feel accomplished after finishing this newsletter.

Don’t Set Goals. Rather, focus on your efforts. Control what you can control. I promise you that you’ll be less stressed, more productive, and achieve more. At last, you’ll be much happier.

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