No more goals

In reorganising my blog this autumn, I found approximately five goal-related drafts, one of which pertained to 101 in 1001.

Because a lot of other people are frequently posting their goals lists, and because all through my life, everyone was constantly asking me about my goals and, if I said I didn’t have any, making them up for me based on what they wanted me to do.

So I’m done with the goals lists.

I have found I personally do better with to-do lists—little pressure, bite-sized tasks. I never understood the goals worksheets teachers made my classmates and I do in high school, because 1) it felt silly and cheesy, and that combination is my most irked, and 2) said teachers usually forgot about it. There was one teacher, however, who didn’t, and she was constantly telling us how to make our goals. The goals had to be for that class only, and we had to write down do-better goals. If we made a B, we needed to aim higher. If we made an A, we needed to aim for all As and only As.

I didn’t like that. I also didn’t like how she looked over our filled-out worksheets and required her approval, and I didn’t like how she expected those worksheets would be what held us accountable, because 1) that’s not how I learn/do things and 2) goals are such a personal thing for me—it was none of her business what my goals were.

When I try to apply the goal-creating process to my current life, I feel more distant from my present than I did before I began. I start focusing so much on the future and laying out all those plans. I mean, my mind already branches out and finds what could happen with each situation—it already analyses every card I play and move I make by default, then delivers to me to possible outcomes.

But there are only so many potential outcomes it can conjure up, and if I keep making goals, I’ll keep feeling like I need to stick to those only…because that’s the protocol, right? What if an opportunity pops up that’s on the way to the path I want, but doesn’t totally fall into my goals? There are so many roads, but to make a goal is to essentially stay on the same road to the same destination, without taking any detours or stopping to look at the scenery.

When I have goals, I either spend too much time avoiding living my present life to see said goals through, or I spend too much time living my present life to not see said goals through.

It’s so boring to make goals. It’s also time-consuming. I want to spend more time living my life and doing things I actually enjoy doing.

I want to live limitless among my limitations.

It’s like eye contact from an autistic person: You can have eye contact and the autistic person not actually listening to/understanding what you say, or you can have no eye contact and the autistic person actually listening to/understanding what you say.

You cannot have both eye contact and an autistic person listening to/understanding what you say.

How do you feel about goals/goal-making?

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Comments on this post

Georgie’s gravatar

I sometimes hate goals. I felt like I always had to be going back to my 101 in 1001 list, and making sure I was doing things on that list, and it just felt like pressure because I wanted my goals to be private and prefer to talk about my development in terms of growth that has already occurred, rather than telling people I am creating a goal and doing this accountability thing. I don’t particularly like having people monitor my goals and stuff, which is why making goals at work gives me a bit of an itch. Like what if I am not comfortable with growing right now? What if I literally just want to stay where I am?

What I said in my recent presentation on fearing failure is that you should make goals that help you learn and step out of your comfort zone if you want to grow, and that sometimes you really just fear failure if you make deliberately easy goals. But your stance on things is different and based on the fact that goals can be seen as rather negative and exhausting (not saying your stance is a bad thing at all). I suppose I also find them to be quite straining and sometimes I just like to take each day as it comes, which is why I prefer to make smaller daily/weekly goals.

I have small things I would like to do at some stage in my life, and they are rather trivial. I have broad goals related to what I would like my house to look like in the future, and I have ideas of where I want to travel and what things I would like to be doing. That’s the way I like to live.

Liz’s gravatar

My main problem with the whole goals thing is in relation to the limits, in that every time I say I can’t do something—because I know my limits—people tell me I am limiting myself. For example, I cannot design websites because my patience and stress levels hit the threshold. If I push myself further, I might create something great—but the creation will be at the expense of more stress and many meltdowns, which I try to avoid. I associate goals with limits, and some limits don’t need to be pushed. Knowing my limits is not limiting myself, because they help me avoid horrendous events that are meltdowns. I see it as a strength, while many others see it as a weakness and something I need to break—a goal I need to have.

What if I literally just want to stay where I am?

⬆️ How I feel about a lot of my limits. Some are worth pushing past, or at least trying to, whereas others…I’m fine with where they are. But I guess it becomes this double standard regarding ableism and autistics: allistics can be fine not pushing past their limits, but autistics are often expected to. It’s funny, because allistics can’t (and don’t) necessarily grow their own produce and kill their own meat, yet continue to nit-pick autistics because they can’t do x and y.

That’s why I associate them with negative and exhausting. ?

Goals are so overrated. ?

Sakura’s gravatar

Haha. I always end up not following my goals too.

Michelle’s gravatar

That is understandable. Sometimes goals do hold us down, that I can understand. I think too many goals bring a person down and not enough motivates people, so there has to be a good balance somewhere.

Liz’s gravatar

Or perhaps there doesn’t, and just accepting the fact that life is spontaneous is better and more productive. Every single time I’ve made goals in the past, life has made sure to remind me who’s in charge. From my perspective, creating goals is a way of trying to control everything around me rather than accepting some things as they are—ever-changing, spontaneous, always surprising. It has taken me a lot of self-awareness to realise this. It’s an accomplishment, really.

Nancy’s gravatar

I’ve done so many goals sheet with my teachers and they end up forgetting about it.. Why bother? Then again, I end up forgetting about some of my goals for the majority of the duration @__@. . . My personal goals list is good as an “Ok, let’s do something” motivation booster but it’s not going to absolutely define my life. Not meeting a goal doesn’t mean failure- it’s fine!

I couldn’t even come up with 101 in 1001 to save my life. Same goes for my 25 by 25. At some point, everything else seems forced and doesn’t add value to life. Gotta count what matters and we can’t always see what it is beforehand (while setting up your goals).

It’s better to spend your time enjoying whatever you’re enjoying and not worry about having to meet some kind of self-set predefined expectation. Do what you gotta do! 😉

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