Goal setting is overrated and methods of achieving goals are wrong!!
Why do you think people set goals and yet not achieve them?
And why must everyone follow a particular step by step process when we all claim we want to be extraordinary?
And why is it that when we set goals, it is almost as if we have decided to ‘suffer’ to achieve them.
Some end up depressed or worse than they were because, in the end, they get stabbed in their esteem for being a failure.
And then, we marvel at the ones who achieved theirs, we jealous them, we admire them, and some people will even become witches to hunt them down.
It seems as if they are achieving their goals without much effort. And truthfully, that is how goals are meant to be achieved … on your terms … or maybe not.
Before you read on, what is your idea of goal setting? – Keep that in front of your mind while you read, better still, write it down.
You don’t take me seriously do you?
I said, write it down.
So, what is it? – Set big goals? Set small goals? Copy other people’s goals? Set new goals every morning? Or to hell with goal setting, “I will live my life and everything will fall in place?” … good.
It is New Year’s Eve, and after eating one leg of chicken with non-alcoholic orange juice in your family house (trust me, alcoholic orange juice exists).
You head out to our neighbour’s house where you pretend your stomach is filled.
Yet, you finish the bones meant for their dog and go with extra ‘take-away’.
That same night, you head out straight after night vigil with your delirious friends, and you guys get nasty and drunk (even though you said you would only taste smaaallll), and the next morning of January 1st when you all are sober, you then open your c*nt shaped, alcohol oozing mouth and say “My new year resolution this year, Is to be a better person” because everyone is making resolutions.
Most times, our goals sound just like that. You know, generalized, non-specific, and without a target.
Forget about everything people say that works. Including me.
Sometimes too, because one Instagram motivational speaker said we should set targets that are bigger than us, we then set out and make notions like: I will have six packs this year in 2 weeks, I will never drink again in my life, I will not date two men at the same time.
The worst thing I feel could happen to anyone is when you put yourself in a situation where you doubt if you can do anything at all. Where you begin to think you are worse than everyone else, and can’t achieve anything (self-induced low self-esteem)
All I am saying is, why set goals that won’t propel you forward, but instead, leave you anally spooned with belittling quotes like; “life spoons everyone”, or “life is spooned up” and other things we say to just feel good for not achieving our goals.
For some people who are already making progress with their lives, they set goals that look like; I will read 50 books this year, or I will make 5million by the end of this year.
And sometimes, it is sad that such people may not have made up to 600,000 a year, or have not finished a book to save their lives.
In fact, people in the self-help industry make sure to ingrain the fact that we must set goals that are somewhat unrealizable so that when we fail, then we fail, achieving part of the goal – aim for the moon, and you will hit the stars at least – so they say.
But what is the real thing that differentiates the guy who meets his goals even before the year ends from the guy who is still struggling to wake up by 10am?
I have a writer I love – Mark Manson, read one of his articles (I appreciate him a lot because of his research proven insights) there is one thing he said –
“the main aim of goals is not to achieve them, but to have a sense of direction”
How should we set our goals?
In the real sense, we may have all been wrong about goal setting.
We want to see the end of the year in brighter skin, bank account filled with funds, to be with a perfect man who is tall, has abs, and also ‘small-big’ stomach when we need to cuddle (I really don’t know what women want from men).
Despite prospecting, and projecting, only a few people have control over what is happening the next minute, the next hour, and even as little as the next second.
Like trying to fly in the future without any effort to have wings now.
We forget that to achieve an orgasm, we need to start from foreplay. No, not even that.
You need to start from determining your sexuality (seems hard nowadays with everyone changing their gender more than 5 times)
Now after determining that, you find someone/something you are attracted to, then you bring them up to speed about how you want to…
Just look at you … smh
Ok, that was not the best of analogies.
But the point I am trying to drive home is that, before you lay on the bed, visualizing what it feels like to achieve your goals, reciting “I will be a millionaire in 6 months” (that’s what they always advice), you need to start from what you can control to what you can’t.
You need to start from the known to the unknown. You need to start from looking like a moron, a buffoon, a stupid disoriented harangue to a stand-up comedian.
Yes, it is ok to have a big goal, it is ok to visualize, it is ok to visit the Instagram page of a rich dude and recite “I can achieve this, I can do it, this is mine.”
But, when it comes to achieving your goals, you have to face the reality, and this reality also means acting small.
Our brain shuts down when faced with big tasks especially when there is no motivation.
That’s why people faint in the face of danger (the brain is protecting itself from self-damage). You can learn more about how to unlock the brain’s full potential here
In the case of achieving your goals, you have set something way outside your comfort zone, and what happens is that we begin to subconsciously create excuses for ourselves.
The best way then to achieve your goals is to break them into very small tasks so that when it is time to act, the brain willingly, obliges.
Achieving your goals.
Our goals, if we are telling ourselves the truth may require that we shift our personality.
Want to be a good writer? then be a good reader.
Want your relationships with people to be a great one? Then be a great person.
A shift in personality can be a big word. But like I mentioned, it all starts from the simplest thing that we can control – Our thoughts.
A shift in personality, which is a shift in mindset is one of the best thing you can do for yourself (personal testimony).
You need to realize that as important as it is to be soaked up in the ecstasy that achieving your goals will bring, it is more crucial to love the process.
Because that is what drives you even when there are no results.
That is what drives you to step through the inevitable challenges that help you achieve your goals.
Instead of those overwhelming goals, break them down into the smallest plans – more on this later.
Your mindset is a loyal slave.
There are a million reasons to feel that everything is turning against you.
To feel that someone is against your progress.
To feel that you can never make it in Nigeria or anywhere else.
To feel that the government, your mom, your aunty, they are all the reasons why you can’t make it in life.
And while you are sulking on those reasons; reposting the worst events, turning them into memes, praying for other countries, going for protests, spending your limited time in this short life to keep up with twitter trends…
Just know that, other people too, are finding a billion reasons to achieve their goals.
Our mindset matters a lot when it comes to achieving goals. If there is good and bad all around us, what does it pay to focus on the bad? Does it?
We are humans and we are all selfish. It is embedded in our instincts and it can never change.
Part of this selfishness involves shifting the blame from ourselves to someone.
You see, it is so easy to feel good when something bad happens. We talk about them. We blame this person and that person. We wait for excuses to justify our lax.
The best way to control our mindset is by controlling our thoughts and the best way to control our thoughts is to filter what we eat, read, listen to, talk about…
Because by the end of the day, we are what we think. And what we think is as a result of what we consume, read, watch, talk about, bla bla bla.
Controlling your thoughts is difficult, but you need to. And you can do that by focusing on things that will get you where you NEED to be.
So, chose today, to be incurably positive, or better still, suit yourself.
Motivation is just masturbation.
Motivation is an issue when we talk about goal setting.
We play motivational tapes every morning.
We write quotes on our walls.
We use them as wallpapers (I do this too and with time, I don’t even notice them anymore)
We retweet quotes with “on point” and comment “yasss” on every motivational status.
We burn internet listening to speakers on YouTube and TED-X.
But we never grab that bull by its horn.
We never do that thing on our list. In fact, when we face the slightest challenge, we get back to listening to motivational materials or looking at other people’s achievements.
I am sorry to say, but we are no different from the drug addict who is scared of reality. And as perverted as you may think I am, which I am not, dhuuuuurr, I prefer to say it is ‘motivation-masturbation’.
And you get what I mean. We find external motivation, do 2 minutes of work, and then WE are back to being the dumb mofos that we were 2 minutes before that (remember I’m also at fault on this one)
Stop. Just stop wanking off on motivational materials because you don’t even need them – well you do… in your visualization and thought process of course.
But we are talking about the reality and in this reality, you need to create your motivation, and that can only happen through ACTIONS backed up with good habits – more on good habits later.
Creating motivation to achieve your goals.
The best way to create your motivation is to take actions as frequent as possible. Like I said, start from the things you can control.
Divide your goals into little chunks that you can chew.
Instead of looking to get ripped abs by the end of the year, look forward to doing 5 push-ups after every time you pee. (I am saying 5 because I can’t do more than that. I’m too hot already mheen no need) … so much for motivating other people.
But you get me.
Instead of saying you want to complete a book in 1 month … Read a page after every time you eat, or devote 15 minutes every morning you wake up to read a chapter.
Do you notice the trend? You are simply tying your new personality to the old ones, to the unavoidable ones like eating, sleeping, peeing, bathing, and if you had an old habit you wish to change, you can include that too.
An example will be to read the bible after every time you watch porn …
What happens is that, you slowly complete big tasks even without knowing.
And you know what else happens? You begin to look forward to your next activity.
As long as you show up every morning, after every time you pee, after every time you wake up from sleep, or after every time you do something unavoidable like miserably texting your ex.
You will begin to ingrain those activities in your brain that at a point, it feels so wrong if you don’t do them.
In essence, focus on habits instead of goals because goals will end. But you see habits? They are everlasting. This is why most wealthy men can recover their wealth if you strip them off from it today.
Becoming your own Inspiration.
We have established that achieving your goals can only be done by taking actions, minute actions every day.
When we can stay committed to taking little actions, motivation becomes ‘first hand’ and constant. And then, we develop the most important one – inspiration.
In fact, Mark Manson in his book “subtle art of giving a fuck” defines the whole conundrum of motivation and inspiration as a tailless loop. That can start from anywhere.
You can be inspired to write a blog post and not take action. You can be motivated to write a blog post, and like we already know, not take action.
But if you take action any day, there’s a possibility you can write a perfect blog post without inspiration.
And even when you write a blog post that is horrible because there was no initial inspiration, you will be inspired to make corrections, by reading more on the topic, and when you have read again, you will be motivated to try one more time…. now that, that is the real unadulterated motivation.
Don’t wait for inspiration to come from heaven. Actually, it doesn’t. It just comes from how our subconscious mind have decided to create from the things we feed to it.
The Paradox of Consistency.
Being consistent is the most important yeah, yeah, yeahhhhh we get it. But why is it that Cynthia is always in the library, in the first seat right in front of the teacher every class.
Why is it that her notes are always complete and she is found in every corner, reading, too busy to date you sore loser, yes you, and yet she bangs F when the results are out (must be satisfying for you huh).
Ok that was a little bit rude. But you see, sometimes, she can’t even answer questions thrown directly at her. But, but, she’s consistent right? Always reading right?
We follow a lot of norms. In fact, that is how we have been wired.
You want to stay alive? Don’t stop breathing.
You want to make money? You have to work haaarrrdd everyday
You want to pass your exams? Read 12 chapters every day.
And what have we got ourselves? A bunch of unhappy people without results doing what they don’t even love. (if you like, don’t breathe)
But the point is, we are hardwired to seek after what works. It is in our DNA to survive and we are selfish to copy others.
But we forget that our DNA’s are also f**king different. You need to be consistent yes. But you need to do it at your own pace.
The only challenge we should have in life (I think) is finding out what works for us.
Take Cynthia our character for example. She could be reading only early in the mornings, or two nights to exam day. She could read out her notes in audio and play it for her volatile brain every day on her way to class. She could even agree to date you so that you can teach her what works.
But no. She ‘suffers’ every day trying to be the best student, and yet, the guy who doesn’t have a note and also working two jobs is always on top of the list.
The key is, to find out what works for you. You will find out that it will become more natural for you to progress.
Doing what works
You cannot do the same thing over and over again and expect different results.
What you need first are the fundamental principles of something.
When you know the fundamental principles and elements that make up what you want to achieve, then you should not be scared to go outside the norm. But whatever you do, make sure that the fundamental principles and elements are always in accordance.
As you will find out, it is only the human element that needs to be changed.
Like Cynthia, the fundamental principles to passing exam are reading and participating in school activity.
But her ‘human element’ can vary as stated in the example above.
She can decide to be very active in sports (which makes the brain smarter).
She can decide to come for two classes a week and spend the rest in the library.
She can decide to be like me, who will seldom copy notes, buy textbooks and materials, but borrow because the pressure of returning someone’s material will make me absorb it faster.
I really will not like to keep you longer than now. But remember that paper I asked you to write your goals on when you started reading?
Yes, take It out.
Now break your goals down into very very tiny chunks.
After writing this down and doing what it says, throw it away, or better still use it to wipe your butt.
Yes because some of you are about to paste it somewhere where you can read it every morning. Please don’t. The best thing to do has always been to take ACTION… Do something, even if its dumb (like this blog post) and you know what again?
Put it out in the world, be proud of it, then worry about perfection later.
Always focus on Habits instead of Goals
I love you too …
Hey, we will be talking about some of the habits that can help you achieve your goals later.
PS: Cynthia was not a real person, but the part where she refused to date you? Yes, that part. I am rubbing it on your face.