Is It Time To Abandon Your Goal?

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Welcome to Format Free Fridays, the one day a week when I break the format of answering your questions and I dispense that which we rarely welcome in life: Unsolicited advice.

I’m obsessed with goals.  My clients have goals, I have goals (both professional, personal and familial) and I encourage my readers to create goals.  Nonetheless, if goals were easy to achieve we’d all be rock stars and multi-millionaires.

In order for goals to be useful, they need to be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable and Result-oriented.  Oftentimes, it’s only after ploughing into a goal that we realize it’s lacking in one of those areas.  And sometime our goal is SMART but it fails to motivate us. We’ve all had experiences like this, usually around February when we lose momentum in achieving our New Year’s resolution.  Most of us have no problem with abandoning them (over 90% of Americans abandon New Year’s resolutions) and I’m here to tell you that there are times when quitting a goal is exactly what you should do.

There’s nothing worse for your self-esteem than having a daily, weekly or annual reminder that you’re supposed to be achieving something that you’re not.  When this happens, instead of igniting a little voice inside your head that says, “Go get em!” we ignite a voice in our head that says something like, “You’re not doing this well,” which typically triggers a litany of reasons for why you shouldn’t work towards that goal today.  And when you’ve exhausted all those reasons and your inner dialogue quiets down, you’re left with a feeling of defeat, whether you’re consciously aware of it or not.

That feeling of defeat wreaks havoc with your ability to motivate yourself in other areas of your life.  It’s like a little virus that weakens your inner drive.  And that’s exactly why it’s imperative to evaluate goals regularly and determine if it’s time to cross a goal off your to-do list.  It’s like wiping a chalkboard clean. Once you’ve done it, you’ve got the space to write anything.  So tell me: What goal are you considering letting go of? More importantly, what new goal will take it’s place? Join the conversation on or on Twitter  @DrDarcySterling.