Are your goals good for you? Did you set your goals, or did your parents or spouse? Here’s how to recognize goals that aren’t good for you professionally and personally.
Here, life coach and author Susan Wilson discusses how shifting or even giving up on your life goals is difficult, but it can be the healthiest thing you can do!
Before her tips, a quip:
“If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Then quit. There’s no point in being a damn fool about it.” ~ W. C. Fields
Quitting a goal doesn’t have to be bad! For more tips on achieving your goals, read Goal Setting: How to Create an Action Plan and Achieve Your Goals (updated by Michael Dobson in a second edition).
And, read on to learn how to recognize goals that aren’t good for you…
Goal Setting Tips
First, you need to figure out if you’re simply running into ”normal” obstacles or if your goals are unhealthy or unachievable! Read Overcoming Obstacles to Your Goals for help.
Recognizing unhealthy goals is about taking a good look at them, determining if they’re achievable and uplifting, and then either re-evaluating them or giving them up entirely. Recognizing goals that aren’t good for you is about learning how to quit or let go without fearing what others think – or feeling like a complete failure.
If you’re reluctant to give up or modify your goals, remember that research shows that doggedly sticking with unachievable goals can lead to physical and psychological distress. Letting go of goals that aren’t achievable – or that are weighing you down – allows you to set and achieve new, better, healthier goals.
It’s really important to remember that quitting your goals can be healthy.
How to Recognize When Goals Aren’t Good for You
When I asked Susan what being a ”good quitter” means, she described someone who:
- Assesses the value of quitting versus the value of “keeping on keeping on.” Recognizing unhealthy goals involves knowing when you’re beating your head against a wall and not progressing.
- Recognizes the difference between unhealthy perseverance versus reasoned determination.
- Knows that a particular goal defines a part of who she is, and knows that she is so much more than one goal.
- Becomes comfortable with the fact that conditions change, and she embraces the strength of flexibility and changing gears when warranted. Recognizing unhealthy goals is about being open to change.
- Recognizes that a goal set at a given time may no longer be useful, beneficial, or worthy at a later time.
- Makes her own decisions rather than trying to please others by hanging in there no matter what. Recognizing unhealthy goals is about knowing who you are.
- Is motivated by internal goals, rather than external accolade.
“Giving up for your own good” is hard for some people to understand – in fact, one of the life coaches I asked to interview about recognizing unhealthy goals refused to contribute! She didn’t feel right exploring the idea of quitting. I agree that quitting isn’t healthy, but I believe that recognizing unhealthy goals is important to our health and wellness.
Nobody is saying we should give up on our goals!
One of the most important tips for setting goals is to make sure our goals are right for us — that they honor who we are — and that we’re pursuing them for the right reasons. That’s what recognizing unhealthy goals and setting new ones is all about.
How’s your money situation – do you have money goals? Read my Most Popular Money Articles – Financial Tips and Goals.
Have you ever deliberately decided to give up on a goal that wasn’t good for you (versus just letting a goal peter out)? I welcome your comments below…