Is Goal-Setting Good for your health? Try this instead

Are you ever overwhelmed by all the things you have to do? The list seems never-ending. Laundry itself takes up a whole section of my brain that should probably be dedicated to something more important. It turns out, goal setting and thinking about everything we want to do at once isn’t the best.

Goal-setting for your health

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When we focus too much on our long-term goals and think too far out it deters what we can do today and from what we are experiencing at the moment. I listened to an Art of Manliness podcast that featured guest, John Zeratsky (a former Google employee). Zeratsky talked about how he was exhausted thinking about all the things he had to do. He felt like life was speeding past and he wanted it to slow down. So, he came up with a new way of thinking to simplify and optimize his life. It’s a great episode. You can listen to it here.

One of the steps to his framework was focusing on a daily “highlight”. A highlight is one thing you want to accomplish that day. Focusing on the highlight lets you plan everything else around it. It may be going to the gym, having coffee with a friend, or a specific work task you want to accomplish. For me, it’s usually a writing assignment or some form of exercise (apparently, chasing the little man around all day isn’t enough).

I was pleasantly surprised to hear someone else focus on the “daily goal” because I started implementing that method a few months after Axel was born. I was getting bogged down in trying to still do the startup, be there for the baby, and spend time with my husband. It was all too much, so I decided I could accomplish one thing each day and that would be good. I had to make some major life changes to put it into effect but it’s been working out pretty great.

That being said, there are still things I want to do. I think it’s still important to have ambition and goals. I think the key is to not be disappointed by the fleeting feeling of accomplishment after completing a goal. And not to be a serial goal-setter because it detracts from the here and now.

All The Things I Still Want To Do

Photo by Miesha Moriniere on
  • Mentor someone/help them get started in their career since it was hard for me to get started in mine.
  • I want to write a memoir or “how to” book.
  • I want to be published on a big platform like Forbes, the Harvard Business Review, or Inc. Magazine.
  • I want to write a children’s book for my son.
  • I always admire people who come up with a product. I would like to invent my own.
  • I want to travel. I want to tour a medieval castle. I would love to ride across the Mongolian Steppe, soaking up the vast landscape and mysticism of where so much history happened.
  • I want to explore more of the United States too. I think it would be awesome to visit all the major national parks (and any hidden gems). It would be cool to visit where my ancestors landed in North America, five years after the Mayflower.


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I look forward to reading your thoughts in the comments below. 🙂

2 responses to “Is Goal-Setting Good for your health? Try this instead”

  1. I totally get what you mean, there are still things I want to do, but I’m no longer setting monthly goals that would just bring me more anxiety. 🙂 It’s nice to see I’m not alone in this!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Same! Thanks for stopping by. Looking forward to what we achieve on our own time. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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