Stop Setting Yourself Goals

Chris Skinner
3 min readApr 26, 2022


Obviously it’s not a simple as that, but I would like to suggest to you that goal setting might be outdated, need a bit of a re-think & not be your best route to success, especially in the fast paced world in which we live in now.

Setting goals, like SMART goals are too rigid & don’t allow for complexity, setbacks, learning from failure, adjustments, iterations & trying something new. I don’t think you should be limiting yourself with a goal. I think you should be approaching what you want to achieve with a growth mindset. If you did you would ask yourself

How Far Can I Take This?

The main problem with goals that I see is, if you focus on hitting a target & then you hit that target, then what’s next, it’s so much easier to settle rather than set what the limitless possibilities are.

Now this could just be me, I’ve always struggled with the fixed nature of goal setting, I prefer to think of this as ‘My Direction or Vision’. I would define this as my current direction of travel & this can change dependent on the ever changing road in front of me. Thinking in this way has allowed me to approach what I want to achieve with a mindset that is prepared for bumps, obstacles & sudden changes of direction, ready to adapt & shift.

Carol Dweck, author of Mindset, says it’s as simple as think of something you want to do, learn or a problem to solve, make a detailed plan with the where & how you’re going to rock it — then just start

Once you have defined what your direction is, you then need to make your detailed plan that Carol talks about based on your direction.

So, what does this detailed plan look like? It‘s as simple as breaking down your vision into short-term concrete steps, thinking what realistic progress can I make this week or month (don’t be tempted to look any further forward than this) then asking yourself do these actions serve that future I’m trying to bring to life, if not then adjust the step. Then in the words of Nike ‘Just Do It’. Then next month check in with your direction — are there any changes that you need to make to it & then start the process again.

It’s all about laying one brick at a time and doing the best possible job you can laying that one brick & letting the result take care of itself. Pretty soon you will realise you have a wall, it might not be the wall you thought you would build at the beginning, but it will be the exact wall that you need now.

I want to get better at laying the right brick at the right time that will move me towards ‘My Direction’, after all, that’s the only think you can ever really control.

Phil Knight (founder of Nike) — I’m not one for setting goals, my intention was to fail fast enough that I could apply what I was learning to the next venture — He made many changes of direction, applying the lessons as he went



Chris Skinner

Helping you find your way by shining a light on what is in front of you, so you can make the right move for you.