My Experiment with Goals

These days...I live without goals, for the most part. It’s absolutely liberating, and contrary to what you might have been taught, it absolutely doesn’t mean you stop achieving things.

It means you stop letting yourself be limited by goals.
— Leo Babaua

I’ve been profoundly impacted by Leo Babaua’s post about living without goals.  It’s a remarkably freeing concept and that allows people to live more fully in the moment, to allow life to unfold in its own pace and in its own way.

Based on this, I took a new & different approach to establishing goals. I wasn’t able to fully give up the perceived safety of goals, but I simplified my goals by making them more nebulous. That’s counter to what I normally think. My intention is to allow my life to unfold in an organic and creative way.

My sole professional goal has been to create a position that provides me with the opportunities I want under the conditions/terms I want.  Pretty open ended, eh? I left a steady, salaried job and started working for myself in 2012 and aligned with another company that provides training and coaching in software delivery.

I’ve also spent more time volunteering with non-profit organizations that impact a broad reach of people. I completed my annual campaign to raise funds for Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation to help cure type 1 diabetes, which hits very close to home for me.  Beyond this, I was selected as a speaker at the Scrum Gathering in Barcelona, Spain. The Scrum Gathering is organized by the Scrum Alliance, which is a non-profit that exists to “increase awareness and understanding of Scrum.”  The session I led had ~70 people attend. I was not paid for travel time or the time that I presented my materials.  This is another example of a completely unexpected fulfillment of a goal.

I set four goals for myself in this way and met all four of my goals. What a stark comparison to what I had done in the past! Because of this approach, my gremlins/saboteurs do not have the same amount of ammunition to work with as compared to prior years.

Here’s my 2¢ on this topic.  Find a method of establishing goals that helps move you forward in a positive and affirming way. If this means creating very specific goals for yourself with detailed plans for the execution and achievement of your goals, that’s great!  If it means having no goals at all as Leo suggests, that’s great! And, if you’re somewhere in the middle, that’s great, too! The key is to find something that works for you and affirms who you are as a person.

Do you need support in defining your goals for this year?  How would an accountability partner help you? If there’s some way that I would be able to support you in developing and/or achieving your goals this year, please be the proactive leader of your life and contact me.

Gary Bamberger