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13 Consequences Of Not Setting Goals You Must Be Aware Of

Header image of the article 13 Consequences Of Not Setting Goals You Must Be Aware Of - a rundown of the advantages and disadvantages of setting goals for your life.

Setting goals is one of the most common advice life coaches give you when it comes to be successful and achieve your dreams. 

It's one of the most important steps one must take to reach what he wants.

But currently there seems to be a counter flow, some advocate that the best way to reach what you want is to not set goals at all.

While this might seem contradictory, it can make perfect sense if we understand that people are different. 

People are different in their ways, different in their dreams, different in their goals!
  • You can have one individual that wants to be the best in what he does and achieve huge success doing it;
  • On the other hand you can have another individual that simply wants to live day by day, enjoying what he does, not caring about achieving huge things and picturing them in the long run.

Both situations are ok, and surely you know people like the above. We can tell you there is no recipe for this, the crucial fact is this: 

You must know what you want out of life, be willing to live by that philosophy and handle the related consequences. 

It's in this last point where we want to concentrate today, chasing goals or not chasing goals has consequences. For you to make the best choice for your life, we'll enlist consequences of not setting goals:

13 Consequences Of Not Setting Goals - Disadvantages & Advantages 

1. You Live By The Flow 

The typical metaphor for this is the flow of a river.

When you don't set goals for your life, your life is dependent on the flow of a river you can't control. The direction is always the same, and you don't get to say where you're headed. 

You might get lucky and get a good river, or you might get unlucky and end up in a waterfall, boom!

Live hits you in a unexpected way!

Fighting the flow is one thing you can do, but it will be hard. You'll need plenty of effort and it can be useless in the long run.

A big advantage of having a goal is to create your own flow, your own direction.

So, instead of staying in the river, you go the margin of that river. You're no longer dependent on the flow, and you can set your own way. Yes it's hard and it requires you to create your own lane, but you go directly to what you want regardless of the time and the effort it takes.

2. You're Not Focused 

When you have a goal you set a target, by setting that target you know where to hit. This gives you focus, nothing matters but to hit that target.

By not setting goals, you got no target. You lose focus. This can be a huge disadvantage when it comes to achieving. 

Most people that are successful have this capability of focusing on their craft and becoming great at what they do because of it. 

Keep this in mind: Talented individuals that don't work hard and don't focus in their activity, are often beaten by those that are less talented but are willing to sacrifice and develop a laser focus ability when it comes to working hard for what they want.

3. There Are No Priorities

What are you doing today? What's the first thing? The second? The third and so on.

When you set goals you know exactly what those things are, in other words, what are your priorities for the day. You'll do them first, you'll do other things after, if you have time.

By not having goals, again you go by the flow, there are no priorities. You'll do whatever you feel like doing that day, there's something of a freedom feeling associated to this.

It can be particular interesting if you depend on creativity for a living. Some artists proceed like this in their live when they need to create something different every day. 
But not all artists can live according to this. most have bills to pay and deadlines to meet. Welcome to the business world.

Priorities over time can be a huge advantage because every day you're doing something about them, and eventually, you'll finish your tasks and meet life demands.

Not having priorities can be great too from a freedom standpoint, but it all revolves around your specific needs and life conditions.

4. Distractions Will Hit You

In today's world it's easy to get distracted. Like we stated goals give you focus.

By not having goals distractions are up for grabs.

How many of us pick up our smartphones just to check the mail, but end up seeing a ton of other stuff that doesn't relate with our main activity whatsoever? By the time we unplug from it, a precious hour that we had to work on our business is gone!

So, ask yourself how did this happen? Image if you have a strong goal that drives you, wouldn't be easy to disconnect from the distractions?

Distractions are pointless stuff, unfortunately, stuff that is everywhere you look. But if you want to achieve great things, you need to concentrate on the stuff that matters.

By setting goals your mind will be consciously looking for the stuff that matters, things that you need to do to be closer and closer to achieve your goals.  

5. Opportunities Might Open

This is an advantage of not having goals.

By setting a target your mind concentrates on that target and is unable to see other targets, other opportunities.

Yes! You can be very good at setting a goal, you follow all the right steps, and you do what you have to do daily to achieve that goal. But that doesn't mean you'll achieve it for sure!

Sometimes we get caught up in our goal, so much that we forget an important step that is: to analyze the results we're getting.

If you're not getting what you want after a while, you need to change something about your approach or even change your goal.

When you don't set goals, you don't have this type of problem. Your mind is open to everything that is out there, some things might be real distractions but other things can be great opportunities.

There is a thin line between being stubborn and flexible, when you don't have a specific goal it's easier to be flexible and grab opportunities that might knock on your door.

6. There's No Pressure

13 Consequences Of Not Setting Goals You Must Be Aware Of: There is no pressure

A common step of goal-setting is having a timeline. If you want to achieve something, you must set a goal with a specific time period to achieve it.

This is great because it pressures you daily to do the necessary tasks to achieve that goal, without it you can set as many goals as you want, but it will be harder to achieve them and rate your success through time.

But if you don't set any sort of goal, there is no pressure automatically. Nothing is pushing you daily to do something.

There's also a freedom feeling associated to it. Because you don't feel you're doing things obligated, instead you do them when you want and for fun.

Having fun is crucial, of course when you set goals you can have fun also, but if your goals are hard to achieve it can be a tough road.

By not having goals, this pressure disappears, and believe or not...
Some people are more productive by following this method.

My advice would be: have fun! If your goals are providing you that fun good! If not, there is no need to feel miserable, you need to relax a little and remind yourself of positive things, do it just for the fun of it, even if that means not setting a specific goal.  

7. Lack Of Confidence

The freedom feelings of not setting goals can be awesome, but also provide you some kind of unhappiness in the long run.

If your going without knowing where you're headed to, you might feel lost. We all have these moments of despair, where hope is hard to find.

When you set goals, things are different: you start to build a wall, brick by brick. In the beginning stages you don't see nothing, it might discourage you. But give it a week, give it a month or even a year (it depends on your goal), you start to see something. Your wall is rising, stronger and stronger each day.

Well this wall, is a metaphor for your work, but also a metaphor for your confidence

Just imagine, if after a while you're seeing the results of your work, it will be easier to continue to do that work, because you feel gratified by it and much more confident about it.

You start to notice it and, surely, people around you start to notice also. Positive comments start to come and you'll feel more and more confident in what you're doing.

8. You Don't Get Frustrated With Failure

Nobody said that having goals and conquer them is easy. In fact, it can be really tough. You might fail at first try, you might fail at second try, at third time and on and on.

If you really want to achieve that goal you must not quit.

But you need also to learn from failure. We all make mistakes, but mistakes are there to be learning lessons that make you better and sharper, next time around you're more capable to achieve that goal.

Eventually, you'll achieve what you want, but you can also get frustrated by it in the long run. You feel like you're constantly hitting a wall that doesn't move.

By not setting goals, you don't get this feeling of failure associated to it. You don't set high expectations, so when you don't achieve something you don't really feel it like a set back.

It's easier to proceed, ironically this is the kind of mindset people that set goals must have, but it's easy said than done.

Handling failure is probably one of the hardest things to do in life, but if you don't see as a failure... just imagine the possibilities!

9. Motivation Can Be Hard To Find

Connected with the Lack of Confidence point, setting goals and start to achieving them can boost your motivation also

Some people are not motivated to workout, they simply don't like to workout. But they know it will be good for them for healthy reasons, they start to exercise daily anyway. One week in it, they start to feel addicted to it. Two weeks deep, they start to notice the changes in their body, they get motivated by the results. All of the sudden a thing that they didn't like to do two weeks ago, is part of their life now and they want to do it no matter what!

Setting goals and achieving them is a process, the purpose of this process is getting results. 

When you see those results appearing you feel motivated by them and
you want to achieve more!

On the contrary, if you don't set goals you're not controlling any type of process: you don't have a way to compare the results you're getting.

You can't notice a difference between your former self and present self. You don't notice the positive changes because you live randomly. This can give you a lack of motivation to do things daily.

If there is no road and no way to evaluate your progress, you get discouraged by it instead of getting motivated.

10. You Avoid Procrastination 

Procrastination is a common concept between millennials, it seems to be an "in" thing.

It basically means to know that you have to do something, but you constantly postpone that something into a more convenient time. But that time never happens! You never do it! You're constantly delaying things you know you have to do! It becomes an addiction to procrastinate.

This can be a major problem when you set goals, some people are great at planning things but they are awful in the art of executing those things.

Planning gives you a rush, anything can be plan-able. But not everything is achievable.

It can be frustrating...

When you don't set goals, you avoid procrastination for sure, because you don't plan anything. You can't delay something that you didn't plan to do. So there is no frustration associated, whatever you do feels good, if you don't do something you'll feel good also cause you didn't set expectations about it.

Understand that by setting goals procrastination is not something that comes with the territory. It can happen but if you set your priorities straight, you don't even procrastinate because you do what you have to do regardless.

11. You Might Not Get Anywhere

13 Consequences Of Not Setting Goals You Must Be Aware Of: Compass, You Might Not Get Anywhere, No directions, not setting goals

This is the number one disadvantage of not setting goals.

Just imagine grabbing a cab (or a type service like Uber) and telling the driver you don't know your destination! Where will he drive you to?

This is basically what you're doing with your life when you don't set goals.

You're giving someone else the power to determine your destiny.

If that someone is nice you might get somewhere, but the majority of times people are focused on their lives not yours, so they will get you where they want to go, not where you want! You might not get anywhere! I know the ride might be pleasurable and all that, but where are you going?

Now, if you tell the driver I want to go there! If you tell the universe where you want to go, somehow someway things start to go in that direction! You'll eventually get there.

When you set goals this is exactly what you're doing, you're giving yourself a destination, a place where you want to end up at no matter what.

It could be a traffic jam, it could be your boss getting on your nerves, it could be a setback in the project you had to finish, all those things are obstacles in your way. But not matter what, you'll get to your destination because you know where to go and you're willing to do whatever just to get there.

12. Results Can Be Slow

By setting goals you're acknowledging the current situation. You know where you at and you know where you want to go, you just need to bridge that gap.

While you're bridging the gap you're gaining awareness of your progress. 

You know what you have to built and what you need to keep building: results are part of your daily activity. Analytics are a way of keeping track of your progress, but also a way of adjusting your actions on a regular basis to get better results.

When you don't have goals, all the things stated above are a mirage. You didn't made a situation point and a future plan for your life, so it's really tricky to know what gap you need to bridge.

Therefore, you can't make a correct reading of the results you're getting because you can't identify them. You might think you're making progress, but how can you really tell? That's why results can be really slow to get and to understand, a clear disadvantage of not setting goals.

13. Will You Be Happy??

This is the ultimate question you have to ask yourself after reading the mentioned consequences:

Will you be happy by setting goals or will you be happy by not setting them?

I can't answer this for you. Because it's your life your decisions, you deal with the consequences of those decisions of course.

I can advise on it, coming from a personal development perspective of course I advocate goal setting and every step related to it.

Goal setting it's the ultimate way to achieve your dreams in life.

But I can understand the other perspective and encourage you to follow it. If not having goals it's the best for your way of living, do it!

The most important thing is that you need to be happy living your life.

Be real honest with yourself, go deep! Analyze who you are and what your needs are. Be aware of the consequences of not setting goals, decide from there what's best for you and make a total effort to...



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