You go on mission for a flat stomach…because you blame your failed relationship on your spare tire.
You want to make more money…to keep up with the Joneses.
You decide to run your first marathon…and then get badly injured because you pushed past your limits just to get an impressive time.
You strive to be an active volunteer in your community…but you end up neglecting your own family.
You force yourself to drink green juice every morning…since all the cool moms are doing it.

What’s the problem?

The goals themselves can be solid personal growth tools. The issues arise when they are set by your ego, who is hell-bent on disturbing the peace and joy that you seek. When your ego sets a goal, her message to you is: you are not good enough.  The sneaky devil rewards you when you reach the finish line, providing you with the deadly taste of temporary worth.

False victory, my friend. This explains why plenty of ambitious, philanthropic, hardworking, super-accomplished people in Hollywood are…train wrecks.

goal setting, resolutions

Tweet this—->“Never set a goal that forces you to sell your soul”.

The Sell-Your-Soul-For-The-Goal Test

So how can you tell if your goal will lead to self-destruction? Ask yourself this:

Do the purpose, the process and the end-result of the desired goal…
…encourage you to live authentically?
…express your truth?
…contribute to your inner peace?

It’s a loaded question worth asking. If a “no” comes up anywhere in that response, abort the mission. Steer clear from weighing scales and kale juice for now.

You need to get grounded before you think about growing.

When you’re ready, by all means, be ambitious. Seek adventure. Grow.


The ego has gotten a hold of everyone’s dreams at some point. Which goals has your ego set in the past?

What now?

1. Share your response in the comments below.
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6 Responses to Goal-setting Ruins Your Life When…

  1. Ami Sanyal says:

    Hate the term "YOLO" but love the post. =)

  2. Kathy says:

    Hey Nat – great post – we should never set goals because we aren’t ‘good enough’ but because we want to grow. I’m not setting goals as such, but going with the approach of ‘Letting in’ this year rather than giving up and letting go. I think I’ve been focused on negative things I want to change, rather than positive things I want to let in. Happy New Year.

  3. Nat Nanton says:

    Letting in instead of letting go. Sounds like a trade off that could only result in amazing changes. Happy New Year to you too!

  4. Karin says:

    I’m not sure about this. I know there are lots of goals I need to have and work towards, like health and financial responsibility B I could probably say ‘no’ to those questions because the process is painful, even if the outcome is positive.

    I think I let myself off the hook sometimes because it doesn’t *feel* peaceful internally or express my authentic self.

    If I’m honest, I’m lazy and that’s authentic.

    Not being a troll, just want to engage with this topic.

    • Nat Nanton says:

      Glad you commented and appreciate the honesty! Not trollish at all.

      Here’s the thing, we all face resistance and at times, pain, when going through change. And change is inevitable when you achieve a goal.

      But there is pain that leads to progress and pain that can do some real damage.

      An example of good pain…
      Goal: lose 50lbs
      Purpose: to reduce risk of heart disease
      Process: painful
      To make progress, you need a complete overhaul of your diet and lifestyle. These changes will wreak havoc on your mind, especially in the beginning.
      But the process itself does contribute to your inner peace and support your desire to take control of your health.
      End-result: 50 lbs lighter, improved health & wellness and quality of life.

      An example of bad pain…
      Goal: lose 50lbs
      Purpose: to reduce risk of heart disease
      Process: painful
      You starve yourself to lose the weight. A.K.A attempting to fool yourself in believing that you’re rocking your health goal. Not authentic. Not honest.
      End result: 50 lbs lighter and a hot mess.

      Response is welcome. I’d love to hear what you think.

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