If you’re anything like me, the subject of goal setting is an immediate snooze-fest. I always possessed a pragmatic understanding in regards to setting stretch goals for myself but like many other people wading through life, it was an afterthought.

Even as I engrossed myself in the personal development space, subject matter related to goal setting would result in my immediate mental resignation. Like checking email during a family dinner, I never fully allowed myself to consider what this beautiful process could do for me.


I wanted RESULTS. Not goals.

I had an assumption that goals were simply an implied component of one aiming to better oneself. An understood necessity in planning for the future.

Little did I know, my lack of deep understanding would leave me experiencing a world unfulfilled.

I Need To, I Have To, I Should

My 2018 “Goals Board”

My passion for personal development blossomed last year. The more I read, the more I had to force myself to ignore the importance of setting goals. Everything continued to pressure its significance and value.

I finally gave in and decided I was going to map out what I wanted to accomplish in 2018.

So I hopped in the car and headed off to grab a whiteboard to post up on my bedroom wall. A daily summons to pull me out of bed in the morning and nightly reminder of what I needed to attack before retiring for the night.

Driving this home even deeper, were all the metrics showing up related to failed New Year’s resolutions. Apparently 80% of people drop their plan of action for the New Year like a wet football by February.

This didn’t bother me that much, however — because I was determined.

I was mentally tougher than all those people.

I had a desire that burned like a furnace.

Or so I thought.

What really transpired once I made my goals was imprisonment.

“I NEED to get up early.”

“I HAVE to listen to audiotapes.”

“I SHOULD read a book before bed.”

These three words were my guide, my support system, and my authority figure all in one.

I needed the discipline, right?

Without it, I was sure to fail.

Shit, no wonder people are so ashamed to set New Year’s resolutions or even goals, for that matter. Society says failure is imminent.

Quit dreaming and come back down to earth. You’re going to be devastated if you don’t reach your target.

After having learned about parental timeline re-imprinting, I know the harmful effect the words “have to” can have on the subconscious mind.

I don’t HAVE to do anything.

I either GET to, CHOOSE to, or WANT to.

Then…something amazing began to ensue.


Incremental progress.

I finally realized — the outcome means NOTHING.

The person I was becoming in pursuit of this goal was the fruit; not the goal itself.

The goals are irrelevant; what they represent is the real meat and potatoes.

Drop your “have to’s”, “need to’s” and “shoulds”.

Stop putting so much damn pressure on yourself. Freaking breathe for a second.

You’re the architect. It’s your script. It’s your life.

And it’s beautiful already. But divorce all the falsely-constructed discipline.

Real discipline is a choice. Not a command.

The discipline it takes to achieve a goal is the discipline to be grateful you get to chase that goal, the discipline to be happy you’re imperfect and you get to keep growing, and the discipline to care deeply for others.

Reaching a goal is a by-product of you becoming an even more incredible person in relation to who you already were.

So set a goal today and forget about the outcome.

Your experience along the way will be more satisfying than accomplishing it.

Thank You For Reading!

Time is everything and I sincerely appreciate you giving yours to read.

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Originally published at medium.com