The Case for Not Setting Goals

Jason Fried, co-founder and CEO of Basecamp, lays out the case for not setting goals in his post I’ve Never Had a Goal. Here are a few choice quotes from the article:

  • I want to make progress, I want to make things better…But I’ve never set a goal.
  • A goal is something that goes away when you hit it. Once you’ve reached it, it’s gone.
  • I consider Basecamp, my current business, as one continuous line back from when I sold the first thing I ever remember making.
  • I just worked at whatever I was working on and ended up wherever I am.
  • Jim Coudal said about goals:
  • “The reason that most of us are unhappy most of the time is that we set our goals not for the person we’re going to be when we reach them, but we set our goals for the person we are when we set them.

Personally, I enjoy the clarity and focus of working towards a target and knowing whether or not it was achieved, especially in the team or company context. On an individual level, I don’t use goals very much, but I do care that I’m always learning and growing, as that’s important to me.

What else? What are some more thoughts on the case for not setting goals?

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