How to destroy goals instead of them destroying you

How to Destroy Goals Instead of Them Destroying You

Everyone likes accomplishing things. Not everyone makes plans. Setting goals only to fail can feel like an exercise in self-destruction. Been there? I have. I’ve tried and failed. I’ve written down things I want to accomplish during the year and been left feeling defeated and discouraged. Why bother? I want to live loved, not destroy myself.

Then last year I learned something that changed all that. Two little things anyone can do and get the results they long for.

Because of what I learned I not only set goals last year—I destroyed them! I’ll show you what I learned and how it works.

Because of what I learned I not only set goals last year—I destroyed them! Click To Tweet


Grace First

To destroy my goals I needed to see them differently than I had in the past—through the eyes of grace. Without grace, I’d make a list of things I should do and then oppress myself. I’d become Godzilla to myself, destroy my plans and suffer awful shame and condemnation.

Grace remembers we’re human.

Grace takes the should out of goals and turns them into a place you’re aiming for. Grace helps you follow a plan—a way to get where you’re going that’s good self-care instead of destructive.

Grace remembers we’re human. Click To Tweet


How to Get Where you’re Aiming

One step at a time. I’d heard that before but it didn’t help me. Not until I learned something called The Next Step. I learned this little gem from Michael Hyatt at one of his Best Year Yet webinars. It revolutionized my ability to accomplish goals. The one step is the next step.

How it works is after you’ve made your goal, you expect only one thing of yourself—the next step.

What is this next step? It’s what you identify as something you’re fully capable of doing to take one step toward your goal.

And after you take your first next step then there is the next.

And then the next…

Until your goal is destroyed.

I learned this little gem from Michael Hyatt at one of his Best Year Yet webinars. Click To Tweet


The most important step is always the next step. – Michael Hyatt


Why This Works

Two reasons this works.

  1. The next step process is full of grace. Just one thing to do. One thing you’re capable of doing. Goals exist outside of our comfort zone but each next step is something inside the comfort zone.
  2. At the end of the year, you see progress even if you fall short of the entire goal. Which goes back to grace. The next step process removes the pass/fail – live/die oppressive emotions, and replaces them with a look how far you’ve come attitude. The next step process celebrates progress. Even if you only do 1 next step you’ve moved in the direction of your goal.
Two reasons this works. Click To Tweet


How it works

Decide what goal or goals to set. Ask yourself these questions.

  • What do you want to do or accomplish?
  • What’s most important to you?

Decide what area or areas you want to set a goal.

  • Things pertaining to you personally – self-care
  • Things pertaining to others – relationships
  • Things pertaining to circumstances – work or activities

Write down your goal. A thought in your head is only a wish and will be forgotten.

  • Be specific. Using words like more or less can’t be measured and rob you of the ability to celebrate progress. Don’t be afraid and remember grace.
  • Have a deadline. For example, by the end of the week, the end of a specific month or the end of the year. These give you mini time frames before them for the little next steps so you can celebrate progress.

Your reasons are vital. Why are you going after this goal?

  • This is what keeps you going when you’re uncomfortable.
  • This is the payoff you want or the adrenaline during the process.
  • It could be spiritual, emotional, mental/intellectual or physical.

Remember the aim is to destroy goals—not you.

  • Challenge yourself but be kind. Going after a goal will be aiming outside the comfort zone. Prepare for discomfort, not misery.
  • Be realistic and honest with yourself. Goals are not abracadabra for wishes.
  • Start small and build as you go. Too many goals at once can become overwhelming.


Take the Next Step

No matter if it’s the beginning of a new year or not, now is a good time to start. Procrastination wants to stop you—don’t let it.


Excessive planning is often a fancy way to procrastinate. – Michael Hyatt


Now that you have the framework, determine your next step.

  • Identify just one thing to do.
  • Keep it simple and doable. Fear can’t stop you when you’re succeeding.
  • Resist the temptation to look too far ahead. Your process will become clearer as you go.

Utilize your cheerleaders.

  • Nothing cheers us on as quickly as success. Noting your progress and celebrating the little victories are important.
  • Keep your vision before you—it’ll speak to you.
Noting your progress and celebrating the little victories are important. Click To Tweet


Celebrating Victory

I destroyed my goals and they didn’t destroy me—even though I didn’t complete all of them.

How is that destroying the goals?

  • I made goals when I used to be afraid of them! (eighteen of them – I was a bit overzealous, I have less this year)
  • I exceeded goals. I made them small enough I exceeded 5 of them. One was read 12 books by the end of the year. I read 16.
  • I accomplished goals. 8 things I wouldn’t have done without the goals. One was I published my book on Kindle.
  • Although I fell short on 5 of them—every single one of them I took at least 1 next step toward.
  • Celebrating progress.
  • Celebrating my personal growth.

I learned a lot and I couldn’t have done it without Grace and The Next Step process.


Victory is Within Your Reach Too

What is something you want to do, have, or be? Make a goal regarding it, beware of Godzilla and remember Grace. The taste of victory is sweet—you’ll love it.

  • How do you feel about goals?
  • More reasons for self-care here.
  • Dare to believe you can here.

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4 thoughts on “How to Destroy Goals Instead of Them Destroying You

  1. Thank you. This piece is timely as we start the new year all the goals are before us. I like the way you balance grace with forward movement. I see the great idea behind your post is to be kind to yourself.

    1. You’re welcome, Belinda. I’m glad it was timely for you. I love when I get stuff just when I need it!

      It’s so easy to beat ourselves up and become like Godzilla when we’re frustrated.

      But this last year really taught me that doesn’t work for the long haul. If we want lasting change we need to cooperate with ourselves. The problem comes in with our own impatience because things of value take more time than we want them to. I know that’s been true for me at least. Grace has made all the difference.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts and Happy New Year!

  2. Danielle, there’s such great advice here and I love how you broke things down into steps. I really need to remember to just look at the next step. I’m always getting overwhelmed by the bigger things because I look too far ahead. My favorite quote from your article is: “The next step process is full of grace.” Yes! We all need that!

    1. Thank you, Leslie. I’m so glad that what helped me helped you too. That Next Step thing was huge for me. A next step for me now is to review all those goals. I made only 7 for this year initially but I removed 2 yesterday because they lacked the grace I needed. Yes! Grace is imperative.
      Thank you for reading and commenting!

Please share your thoughts!