I’m about to drop some serious truth bombs on you about goals and goal setting today, so I hope you’re ready. Grab a warm comforting drink, a cozy blanket (or maybe not, it’s the middle of Summer) and a fluffy pet. Things are about to get real. I may be going slightly over the top here, we’ll see.

I am a very goal oriented person. I set myself goals at the beginning of every single month and feel utterly lost if I don’t. There’s only be a handful of occasions over the last few years where I haven’t set myself monthly goals and it’s likely all of those were due to bad mental health and just generally not having the capacity to try and achieve them.

But when I’m in a fairly normal state of mind, then you can rest assured that there will be goals noted down on my phone, in my journal, on the back of my hand – wherever. I feel a real sense of satisfaction and achievement of setting myself goals, working on them and eventually ticking them off.

But…

Because there’s always a but, right?

This strict dialogue we have with ourselves (which ultimately spills out to other people online) about goals needs to stop. It’s damaging for us, it’s damaging for others and quite frankly, it’s bullsh*t. And soon I’m going to tell you why. 

I think this all predominantly started at the start of the pandemic, when we had an influx of people saying how it’s the perfect time to achieve your goals and start a business and build an online empire. When really, most of us were just trying to get through another day without breaking down at BBC News at 6. 

Hustle culture has a huge part to play in all of this. You have to be working on your goals 24/7. Always have to be striving to achieve more. Always need to be looking ahead at the next milestone. Never taking a moment to just… be. 

And because of that, I think a lot of us – at least I know I’ve experienced a lot of these in the past – have some weird ass misconceptions about goals. Our own goals. That we have set for ourselves.

Here are 9 truth bombs about goal setting that you NEED to hear today:

You created them, you can change them

Guess what? You can change them. Imagine that. I think a lot of us think that once they’re written down, then that’s it. Nothing can be done. But a lot of us also forget that our goals are OURS. Nobody else’s. We can literally do whatever the f*** we want with them.

They’re nobodies business but yours

Just because lots of other people share their goals online, doesn’t mean you have to. I see a lot of bloggers share their monthly goals on Twitter and that’s great for them but remember you don’t need to feel pressured into telling ANYONE what your goals are.

It’s okay if your priorities change

It’s the start of the month and you’ve set yourself a goal to run 5k. But then 4 days into the month, your break your leg. It’s safe to say that goal is going out of the window for that month, right? Because your priority is healing your leg. The same can be applied to literally anything.

Try not to compare your goals to others

This is something that can happen when a lot of people are sharing their goals online; we end up comparing ourselves. As ALWAYS. Their particular goal has absolutely no impact on yours.

Timeframes are not set in stone

This is one I would struggle with a lot like, if I didn’t achieve that goal by the end of the month then I’m a failure. Say what? Who stuck those timeframes there in the first place? You did. They mean nothing. They’re a good reference point – that’s all they should be.

Nothing bad is going to happen

And if you don’t hit that goal before the end of the month or before that timeframe you set for yourself? Nothing is going to happen. Literally nothing. Other than you feeling bad about yourself, which you absolutely shouldn’t because time is an illusion anyway.

Make sure you’re having fun doing them

I mean, if you’re tirelessly working through your goals and they’re making you miserable, I really think you need to take a step back and re-evaluate. Especially if they’re blogging relate or something like that. Your goals should be something you love and are passionate about, not something that makes you want to cry into your dinner.

Will the outcome make you happy?

Think about whether the outcome of this goal will make you happy. If not, what’s the point? It’s a simple question to ask but holds a lot of power in it. Yes, some goals will be more fun than others but ultimately you need to feel passionate for all of them.

There’s more to life than goals

And finally, harking back to what I said about the pandemic hustlers, there’s more to life than goals. Like, sometimes, pandemics happen. And you don’t want to work on goals, you just want to practice self care and eat chocolate and watch Netflix and that’s absolutely fine.

I’d love to hear which one of the goal setting truth bombs hit hardest for you! Let me know in the comments!

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43 Comments

  1. Love this post, Jenny! I definitely agree with you the hustle culture plus the notion that we have to make use of the pandemic time has lead to some very unhealthy outlook on goals and productivity. We need to reassess and see if they’re making us happy, and whether they’re sustainable. After all, we come first. Not the goals.

  2. I think the one that hits home the most for me is not comparing myself to others! For some reason, I do this a lot more than I should. No one is in exactly the same situation as I am so there’s no reason to compare our goals and successes. Thanks for these reminders!

  3. Oh my gosh. At the beginning of the pandemic, I did as everyone else did: I was going to finally speak French fluently and become a professional seamstress… when most days I could barely get out of bed from fear of the news. This is the most relatable blog post I’ve read in a longggg time. Thank you, Jenny!

    The stress and guilt from not hitting goals is a total stain. 💕

    xo Alli
    http://www.onthetripside.com

  4. I totally agree with you on all these points! Goals are not meant to be restrictive and something else for us to be weighed down by. They’re meant to be adaptive and motivate so I love your reminder and encouraging take on them — thanks for sharing!

  5. Great post! Timeframes are not set in stone. I used to not even call them goals. (Still don’t really) because I had negative associations with goals. The pressure to have them achieved by the deadline, even when things change. And regarding telling everyone- I’m selective. Good for accountability, but even the most supportive friends sometimes drop fear bombs on you when you tell them your goals. Or they criticize and judge in a well-intentioned way that sets me back a bit. Awesome topic and post! 🙂

  6. Amazing Post! I often find myself guilty for not accomplishing goals and this really builds up anxiety for me. But it’s important to know that goals and timeframes are set by us and they can be changed! I have come across this post at right time. Thank you for sharing xx

  7. Jenny, I found your article relatable and informative. All of your points are the truth. Beating yourself up because you didn’t hit a goal is the worst thing you can do. I use goals like a roadmap. They get me to my destination but sometimes I have to change the route. The point I liked most in your article is you need to have fun. Goals should be a positive part of your life. Life is too short not to have fun. I hope you are doing well. Scott

  8. Like you, I’m also a goal oriented person. I set my goals everyday, every week, month, and year. But not all goals I manage to achieve. And besides that, my goals sometimes changed. It’s because my priority changed. However, I think these goal bombs are normal. You just have to take things easy. I strongly believe that these bombs hits us because God always have better plans for us.

  9. I really love the point about nothing bad will happen. I LOVE goal setting and don’t know where I’d be without a tick list, but it can be stressful when you don’t achieve them. I think it’s important to remember your goals are personal and flexible to life. Thanks for these points! Em x

  10. Thanks for sharing this wonderful post Jen! I need to remind myself of this. I used to share my monthly goals on Twitter but not anymore. I feel pressured to share it then not reach it at the end of the month x

  11. This is what I needed to hear! I have been setting goals at the beginning of the month with timeframes that were quite hard to achieve and looked back and thought how I did not manage. But as you said, you set them and you can change them! No comparison or need to share it is needed! Definitely need to write these down! xx

  12. I love this post so much as sometimes I get so fixated on my goals that if I don’t reach them, I’ll feel worse for it so I love how you pointed out that you can change them and they’re not the be all and end all x

  13. I really needed to hear this right now. Goal setting can be really deflating at times so reading them has really brightened my day! Thank you so much for sharing lovely.

    Elle – ellegracedeveson.com

  14. Thank you for sharing, I really needed to hear this. One of my goals is to be debt free by a certain time and I have to admit whilst it has motivated me it has also caused me anxiety. These 9 tips are very helpful.

  15. This post is so relatable and filled with raw truth; there’s a lot of stuff that nobody wants to hear but need to hear, er, read. I feel like I’m reading a self-help blog post which is one of my favorite topics btw.

    I am guilty of sharing [some of] my goals online and the only reason I do this is to hold myself accountable. It’s the kick in the butt that I need. I only share goals that I know are obtainable using SMART goals. I agree that we shouldn’t be so quick to tell people what our big ideas are until we’ve actually done them. Otherwise we will end up with countless posts about how we tried and failed, month after month. You know the kind of bloggers I’m talking about. They can talk the talk but can’t walk the walk. I think it’s better to not write anything at all than to give the world a bunch of empty promises.

  16. Love this! They’re totally unique to each person, one person that has more productive goals then another person doesn’t mean the other person isn’t as productive! This is something I definitely need to remember sometimes!

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