Why I refuse to make & share my goals

I took some of a theater productions class in high school when I lived in Forney. I didn’t like the class. The teacher was quite a character who wanted us to copy quotes down in our composition notebooks as our “warm ups”. It was sophomore year. When I was removed from school, I continued the notebook’s original purpose, putting my favorite quotes into it. It soon became my quote journal.

I stopped filling it after a few months, but I’m going to try to get back into the habit of putting quotes into it. A lot of my most cherished quotes are in this thing, and I want to fill it. I miss my handwriting I had during that time… Perhaps I can reteach myself how to write like that.

If you talk too much about what you’re going to do before you do it, you leave the game in the locker room.

— Michael Caine, actor

I found it before I began working on this post, because I needed the above quote. It fits myself quite well.

I don’t make long-term goals (or even short-term goals) unless they’re extremely versatile. I also never tell anyone about my goals at all because then I just won’t do it. I think this is why new year’s resolutions are something I despise with a passion. Meekakitty from YouTube made a video last year on resolutions and goals that’s now unlisted. Aside from the adorable bow she made with her hair, the video explains why so many people fail to accomplish their new year’s resolutions.

If I say that I’m going to try to get back into driving by the end of the year, people will encourage me to do so. Will I be emotionally and mentally ready and able to handle such a task? That’s something that is out of my hands, and that goal isn’t what I want to personally do — it’s what others expect me to be able to do.

I have things I’d like to do in life, but I don’t really tell them to people because I’ll either be congratulated before I even accomplish such and/or I’ll receive a response that simply implies the other person’s disappointment in such a wish or dream or whatever it may be that I won’t necessarily continue to have the desire to do it thereafter.

“You need to make goals. You need to have a plan.”

I don’t need to make goals or have a plan in order to survive. Currently, I need to focus on my health and not relapsing. I don’t make goals because I don’t believe in them.

I remember having teachers who required us, the students, to make goals. I understand that it’s something that helps others, but it has never helped me. I make to-do lists, and I don’t look at them as goals. I have dreams that take the place of goals.

We spend our whole lives worrying about the future, planning for the future, trying to predict the future, as if figuring it out will cushion the blow. But the future is always changing. The future is the home of our deepest fears and wildest hopes. But one thing is certain, when it finally reveals itself, the future is never the way we imagined it.

— Meredith Grey, Grey’s Anatomy

Do you make goals? Why or why not?

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Comments on this post

Georgie’s gravatar

Bingooooo. I think that by sharing our goals we feel incredibly pressured to do them, because other people know about it. The pressure then becomes too much to handle and we don’t want to live up to expectations, and the goal seems more daunting because everyone knows you’re onto it. I think that’s the main reason, in a nutshell. I feel much better if I come out after I have completed an achievement, and then announce it to everyone. I didn’t announce that I was a pescetarian until I managed to do it.

I didn’t tell everyone I was moving my blog in December – that was one of the biggest things I’ve done lately. If I told people, then I wouldn’t bother moving all my stuff, coding a new layout, and so on. I think some things don’t need to be shared with people. Goals can be incredibly personal things.

Robin’s gravatar

I generally don’t make and share goals, for the same reasons that you described here. I don’t want to be observed and hounded when I don’t meet a goal in the way that someone else *thinks* I should, or *at the rate* that they think I should. This is one reason why I backed out of a healthy goals link-up with a few other bloggers – I made one mention of French fries (which I had actually been eating less often and in smaller portions) and was berated. I did recently mention a goal to cut back on sugar and sweets, but I left it vague – “cut back” – instead of outlining specific rules.

Frankly, I think the people who nag you to make goals are often trying to take the focus away from themselves, and the things that they need to improve on. It’s easier to talk about what someone else “should” (“should” in *their* opinion, that is) be doing instead of working on something themselves.

Cat’s gravatar

I like making goals, though not long term ones as in years later. If the “deadline” is too far away, it’s no longer motivating for me. I share some of them because I kind of like the pressure of it. I need something to push me along when I slack. Some I don’t want to share because I don’t want any input or tips on it.

I like the second quote. I do think sometimes we think about the future too much, and it’s just too hard to tell what’s going to happen. I think that’s why I don’t like really long term goals.

shot’s gravatar

I definitely agree with you! Sure, goals help some people, but I’ve never stuck to any. Concentrating on what’s important is the key. 🙂 Sharing goals, resolutions etc is definitely a way of asking for pressure, and as you said, they would never be reached/completed. If you want to start driving again, you have the right to keep that to yourself and not have to be put under pressure – others can find out when you want them to! 🙂

It turned out Disqus was working, but I hadn’t typed in my username in parts of the code. I didn’t even know it was possible to install Disqus into Cutenews, but there we are. I should probably make some Tumblr tutorials – I followed a great one on converting my HTML/CSS theme, and I just used the variables from Tumblr’s own tutorials. I still have Blogger ones from my previous blog, which aren’t doing much really, since a lot of visitors to my blog will probably be Tumblr users who have no interest in Blogger. I won’t delete them, mind. Also, thanks for wishing me luck – I’m feeling pretty confident about the exams atm, which hopefully is a good thing. 😛

Shekinah’s gravatar

“If you talk too much about what you’re going to do before you do it, you leave the game in the locker room.”
— Michael Caine, actor

There are times when I get so excited about my plans/goals and I tend to talk too much about it and the result didn’t meet out expectations which is quite sad and disappointing. 🙁 Maybe I should control myself from talking too much. Less talking but more action.

I don’t make goals unless it’s necessary. I just do what I want. But I guess I need to start making goals soon.

I like the last quote that you quoted.

Christine’s gravatar

I agree! I think you’re right. There are some people that I know who HAVE to make goals, but I don’t always want everyone knowing exactly what it is I plan on doing. Who knows it I’m going to actually do it? And not completing your goals doesn’t automatically mean laziness or failure which is sometimes some people forget to think about. If my goal was to lose 50 lbs (idk….random…) and I got pregnant obviously that goal would be erased but not for a bad reason. This was a great post and I think that more people should have this view. We don’t need any extra pressure!

Diane’s gravatar

I used to make a goals, but not anymore. Making a list never really motivated me to do anything. For example, New Years Resolutions. I always forgot mine. Goal-setting is probably a good motivator for other people, but it’s not for me. I don’t share my goals because like you said, I’ll end up gathering unwanted attention. I don’t want to announce something I’ve accomplished until I’ve actually achieved it; otherwise I’ll be surrounded by disappointed or anxious pestering. It gets a little annoying.
I’m the type of the person who will try hard at something and see what happens. I don’t expect anything. I’m more of an observer than a setter. I guess that means that I may have a passive personality.