useless goals



I know.
There is way too much written about goals already!
But Andrew tells me that I’ve set goals since I had my Easy-bake oven so it is an interesting topic for me.
The #1 thing about a goal is that actions speak louder than words, meaning that you have to work on a goal every day, even if it is just something small.
No action, no success against a goal.
That sounds harsh but the opposite is true: a goal’s purpose is not to make your life unpleasant. If you are finding it next to impossible to work on a goal, break up with it! Find yourself something that you actually care enough about to work on.
This is a belief I have had a long time – here are a couple of NEW ideas I’ve had about goals this year:
(1) Don’t set goals you’ve already achieved
(2) Constrain
You might think only a crazy person sets already-achieved goals but most goal-setting processes lead you down the path of doing exactly that.
These wily processes encourage you to write about all the areas of your life that matter to you – but often most areas of life are pretty good!
For example, Andrew and I have four adult kids and having a good relationship with each of them is very high on our values list.
But here’s the thing: the kids are fine. I think they all like us well enough, and the texting/chatting/Sunday dinners/trips/cards…all the stuff of good relationships is just habitual among us.
There’s nothing to be gained by adding some frankly redundant goal to the list like “have Sunday dinners with Rebecca and Ted”. Presumably I will remember to invite them and they will come when they can.
In other words, chances are good that a whole bunch of your life IS FINE.
Leave it alone.
This leads me to my next epiphany: constraint.
By tossing out the areas of your life that are going well, the spotlight is appropriately turned on the one or two juicy ones that really do need attention if you’re gonna get them done.
For 2023 I have one personal goal and Andrew and I have one Sticky goal.
That’s it.
And Andrew is very good at keeping me on the straight and narrow with the Sticky goal. I can be like a magpie and see a bright and shiny idea and go after it. I appreciate his gentle reminder that some things (Hallowe’en cakes, looking at you!) may not be worth my time.
So I wanted to share those goal reflections with you…. and also to extend Andrew and my heartfelt appreciation to everyone who has cheered on Sticky over the last year.
A year ago I had only had a brief phone chat with Leah Kalish about the space that is now Sticky bakery – we agreed to revisit the discussion in the New Year. Since then, it’s been an amazing 12 months transforming Sticky from a pandemic dream to a bustling reality.
My plaque (pictured here) has a very good suggestion: count the really good blessings twice! This year one of the really good blessings was the big circle of people who have cheered us on in our new business – THANK YOU!
Jean xo

About the author

Jean Blacklock

Jean opened the popular Prairie Girl Bakery in the financial district of Toronto in 2011. She owned and operated the business until it closed in 2021 as a result of the pandemic’s impact on downtown Toronto. Read more about her background in commerce, law, and entrepreneurship here.

By Jean Blacklock


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