When Your Goals Are Stupid

Writing doesn’t always come easily to me, as I’m sure any writer would say. Sometimes words pour out of me, and others, they are absolutely stuck. To be good or even decent at anything takes dedication and hard work though, so I often try to write anyway, even when it’s painful.

But lately I’ve been telling myself I have to write a new blog post, and then staring at a blank document and wandering over to Facebook and Pinterest and staring some more, all without having much of anything to really say. So I end up wasting loads of time attempting to write a post about essentially nothing, and sometimes end up scrapping the whole thing anyway.


Photo Credit: Flickr User Simply Vicki, Creative Commons

Why do I do all this? Just because I told myself I had to.

And really, how stupid is that?

What was the goal behind my goal of having to write a new blog post? Simply to write. So why do I feel the need to put all the pressure on myself of writing in such a specific way with such a specific outcome in mind? I enjoy sharing my work on this blog, but to my knowledge, no one has suffered severe distress when I don’t post for a while (much as I might like to think my writing, or lack thereof, has that much power in people’s lives).

Not that perusing Facebook and Pinterest is the best way to spend my time, but it’s making me considering all those things we tell ourselves we have to do. Goals are good and can be incredibly helpful, but when they’re arbitrary and only end up causing us more stress, I wonder if we’re missing the point. Specific goals have broader goals as their basis, and if we’re not careful, we can become so focused on achieving the specific goal that we lose sight of the broader goal behind it. Running 3 miles is a great goal, but the goal behind it is to be fit; if we fixate so much on our failure to run 3 miles one day, we lose sight that we may still be achieving our broader goal. When our goals become a source of stress instead of a source of motivation, it’s time to reevaluate.

Which is exactly why this post is going up today, not last week or even yesterday. It wasn’t ready yet. My goal of posting for the sake of posting was stupid, and the other words I tried to type didn’t have a purpose except for being words on a page. All along, I was accomplishing my ultimate goal anyway–I was still writing, just in other spaces.

Do you have any stupid goals that are distracting you from seeing what your real goals are?

Til next time…



3 thoughts on “When Your Goals Are Stupid

  1. The 2nd Habit of Highly Effective People is “Begin with the end in mind.” Before you set goals you need a goal for your goals. Wow, that made no sense. You need a PURPOSE for your goals. If your goal is just to write, you’ll end up just writing for writing’s sake. But if your goal is to improve your writing, you are no longer writing just for the sake of writing, but in order to get more experience and to hone your craft. For example. I think if you want to set more meaningful goals, you need to start by figuring out WHY you’re writing. Or perhaps you’ve already figured that out in this process!

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