How to set big goals when you are NOT a goal setter

how to set big goals when you are NOT a goal setter - Vale Design

Wait, what?

Everybody sets goals. Hits them. Then sets bigger ones...right?


Truth: I am not a goal setter. I am actually terrified to set big goals. I am tired of "they" on the internet and in books acting like "if you build it, they will come."

I have recently been journaling through this and digging deeper to find out why I do not like to set goals. I have found some deep truths and some solutions for how to set big goals even if you are not a goal setter. I hope these will help other "non goal setters" out there as well.

Through journaling, I realized that I do not like to set goals because of how that makes me feel. Goals can be intimidating. They can be blank spaces on a chalkboard with no clients. They can look like zero product sales for 3 months. They can look like no one visiting your booth at a business event. Goals can be constant looming reminders of what we want, but do not have.

I realized that I am afraid of goals. I am afraid if I go after a big goal that I will not know how to reach them or do the work required to reach them. I am afraid of bigger projects that cost more money because people will expect me to know more and there will be more riding on the project because they are paying me more.


Here is how I am working through my fear of setting goals.

1. Name your big goal

Name your big goal. Write it down. You want XXX amount of money by the end of 2018. You want to accomplish writing a book. You want 100,000 unique page views to your blog. You want to speak at 4 conferences next year.

MY BIG GOAL: financial freedom to adventure and contribute to my family income.

2. Find your why

This was a crucial step for me. I listed my big goal, financial freedom, and I started to sweat trying to think of how I was going to accomplish that. Then I asked myself WHY did I want that particular goal?

My WHYs:

  • I want to hit that goal so my family can go on more overnight adventures in far away places in swanky hotels. My daughter recently listed on a Kindergarten homework assignment that her favorite thing to do with Mommy was "go on adventures."
  • I want to hit this goal to financial contribute to my family's income and take some of the pressure off my husband. We are fine now financially, but I think it is engrained in men to protect and provide. They feel like what they have is not enough.

Once you dig a little deeper and find the WHY, you have found your true intention. Is your why to be impactful and help others achieve their dreams? Is your why to not have to work for a boss ever again? Is your why to have financial freedom to travel more every year? Is your why to save money for your kids college education? Is you why not to worry about a budget and buying name brand corn? Is your why to financially give back to your community? Is your why to set up a scholarship for girls in inner cities to continue their education?

Find your why.

Once I found my true intention, financial freedom to adventure and contribute, I was less afraid to tackle my big goal. I knew WHY I wanted to achieve that goal. I was not just looking at the big goal and freaking out. Having my intention gave me a reason to WANT to tackle that big goal.

3. How to set goals

Here is how as a "non goal setter" I am currently setting my goals.

  • Set "THE BIG GOAL" - financial freedom to adventure & contribute
  • Set "THE SMALL GOAL" - book clients
  • Set "THE NEXT STEP" - blog, brand review, brand presentation slide design

I am not writing these goals on a chalkboard. I am not designing them or collaging them or even giving them a Pinterest vision board. For now, they are on a small index card next to my computer at my desk. I can see them. They are visual and I am focused on my why. They do not scare me.

4. Goals are fluid

Final thoughts. Goals are fluid. They are not set in stone. They can be re-evaluated at any point. I like to review mine at the end of the month. 

Once you accomplish "the next step," consider then what the next "next step" should be. Then revise your index card. Keep taking the next small step.

Have the courage to learn. The more small goals you accomplish and learn from, the more courage you will have. The more courage you have, the more your heart will be open to bigger goals.

For me that looks like a bunch of small steps to achieve my "small goal" of booking more clients. Small steps would be to blog more, attend more local women's business events and volunteer in my community. Those next steps will lead me naturally to achieve my small goal and then hopefully my big goal.

Do you have any tips for setting goals? Are you a "non goal setter?" Why do you not set goals? Do you feel just as successful without setting goals?