Goal Setting... Yay or Nay?

This post is a sneak peak at a contributor feature you can find in this months issue of The Unmistakable Effect.

Goal setting can totally light some people up, and it can also do the opposite for others who feel a little heavy even just at the thought of it. I wanted to explore both sides of the coin a lil more, so I hit up some friends on what they had to say about setting goals, and this is what they had to say... 


Q :: How do you feel about setting goals? Yay or nay?

I love setting goals. 

Bring it on: lofty goals that have little to do with anything I actually do, but that rely largely on luck and subjective opinions (example: winning the MacArthur “Genius” Grant, which is an honor that one can’t apply for, but is simply bestowed by a committee of mysterious, choosy people), as well as goals that I can write down, circle on my calendar, and build milestones toward (example: building a new email course about ass-kicking with limitations). Setting goals helps me to see where I’m going. 

Without them, I’m aimless.

Esmé Wang


I’m not trying to be contrarian here, but I have never had any success with goals. They’re just something everybody does, something I “should” do, but that doesn’t mean I’m happy to.

Here’s what happens when I set a goal: I set it, slap a deadline on it, and a few days or weeks later, I have either forgotten about it or decided not to go through with it. Not setting goals allows me to meet more goals because I like to keep things flexible. Besides, not all of us deal with this kind of pressure the same — it motivates some while it deflates others. 

So if setting goals doesn’t help you, then please never set one again. 

On the other hand, if goals work for you, KUDOS. You’ll run the world one day… Just make sure you check with yourself first. 

Violeta Nedkova


Q :: How do you personally approach goal setting? 

Since I was a kid I’ve only had one goal in life*. At the age of eight or so, I remember thinking I wanted to be the kind of ‘old’ person who lived such a cool life they had a 1,000 weird and/or wonderful stories to tell their grandkids. Now it’s the same but different — to collect, create and share a lifetime of beautiful moments. Some of them might be big and grand, many of them are small yet equally beautiful.

I think of what would make me smile the most, like a big, open plan home with great big windows overlooking the sea, a dinner with some good food, friends, and laughter until your cheeks hurt, or an evening of hugs and movies — and they become my goals.

*At the age of 32 I acquired another — to see my man walk again after being left paralysed from an accident, however I’ve asked the Big U for a little help with that one.

Ruth Ridgeway


Q :: Have you got any wisdom you wanna drop on this whole resolutions/goal-setting game?

The only thing I love more then setting goals is reflecting back on all the small things that got you to where you are now. Self appreciation is so important for a healthy work life.

Isabella Walker


If you allow them to, goals can define your limitations in regards to how you show up effort and energy-wise, but really this comes down to setting the right goals in the first place. Goals are designed to EXCITE us and GROW us. They’re about elevating yourself to become the person you want to be, and so, to differentiate them from everyday, run-of-the-mill ‘tasks,’ we’ve gotta weave in that stretch factor.

If we’re looking at it from a manifestation perspective (which still requires us to front up and do our part), I love adding ‘This, or something better’ when setting my intentions. 

A goal I declare might be ideal as I currently know it, but I’m totally open to having my mind blown by something inconceivably BETTER. 

Rachel MacDonald


My first approach would be to cut the BS. There’s so many buzzwords and fluff around this space. Bring it down to what it actually is — it’s how you want to spend your time and life. Figure out what matters and where you want to go — even if that means your goal is to figure out what your goals are.

Once you understand that, do a gut check and accept that most big goals worth chasing take time. 

Deep relationships, large bank accounts, and slim waist lines don’t happen in days or weeks, but rather months or, in most cases, years.

From there, your first goal should be to figure out how you’ll keep yourself motivated over a long period of time. This is where most people screw up. They focus on the big goal, coming flying out the gate, and flounder after a few weeks because they never break it down into things that will keep the momentum going. An ambitious goal can get you moving out of the gate, but it can also be a killer when you’ve been treading water and not seeing results 4 months in. 

From what I’ve learned, it’s the consistency of chasing and accomplishing tiny gain after tiny gain, that will eventually get you where you want to go. This is where the habits comes in. They are everything.

Julian DeSchutter


Come check out Issue 05 — Make Moves, Not Resolutions — of The Unmistakable Effect here! 

This Issue Also Comes With A 50 Page Makin' Moves Biz + Life Planner Playbook to help you figure out what you wanna jam on this year, then craft a plan to make it happen. And as usual with all things Unmistakable Effect — take what you love, and leave the rest.