“Someday” is Poison: Don’t Make This Goal-Setting Mistake
How you set your goals determines everything.
A goal is a thing you try to achieve.
We set goals because we want to achieve goals.
Right. No surprise here.
This may seem like standard fare, but actually most people set goals to make themselves feel better and don’t have a plan for achieving them… like at all.
Let’s say you want to build a house.
So you say, I want to build a house. Or you say, My goal is to build a house.
These statements are wildly different.
The first statement, I want to build a house, is much closer to the process. It implies you could start today.
When you say, my goal is to build a house, you are saying, “someday I’ll build a house.” When you say this, you disconnect your brain from any timeline of actually building a house.
This now pushes your goal further away yet you believe you are closer.
That is the goal trap.
It’s very easy to set goals far off in the future because we don’t have to do the hard work of mapping out a process.
We feel good imagining ourselves having accomplished our goal.
It doesn’t feel good to think about putting in hours of work for months or years to reach a goal.
Few think about the journey. Most think about the destination.
Let’s take a moment to think about how absurd this really is.
It’s like registering for an ultra-marathon then waking up tomorrow and changing nothing about your routine. No training plan, no nutrition strategy, nothing.
That is a sure-fire way to get injured. It’s not smart.
And this is how most people set goals.
Here’s an interesting experiment you could try:
Ask someone: “What are your goals?”
Let them answer.
Then ask, “What have you done today to achieve them?”
You’ll get a blank stare most of the time.
Here’s another telling observation of human nature and how we delude ourselves.
Go to a place like Los Angeles where 1 out of 3 is trying to break into show biz.
Ask them what their goals are.
Let them answer.
Then ask them, “How much have you practiced X today?” (X being singing, speaking, or acting.)
Blank stare. Then probably followed by some half-assed explanation of why they haven’t put in the work or how they will start tomorrow.
The process is what matters.
I’m building a house.
A statement like that implies you are already in the process.
My goal is to build a house.
A statement like this is a figment of your imagination. It is weak. It is excuse ridden. It is completely removed from the process and the very act of saying it makes you feel like you’ve done something when you haven’t.
“Someday” is poison.
Someday, for 99.999999999999% of people, is never.
Don’t set a goal if you don’t set a process for it.
Anything else is a pipe dream. A fairy tale. Postering. Delusion.