Goals are completely useless

Actually, the full title is… “Goals are completely useless!… and incredibly useful”.

New Year’s resolutions are a great example. Well over 80% of New Year’s resolutions will fail within weeks.


In my experience, it’s because they are goals. And goals are completely useless!!

Research at the University of Scanton shows that a mere 8% of people actually achieve their goals!

92% fail!!!

A few years ago I wrote a little blog post called “New Year, new what?”, in which I shared an experience…

It was New Years Eve. The kids were fast asleep. As the clock struck midnight, Caroline and I were sitting up in bed, looking out of the window. The year we were finishing had been tough for us. We were in the teeth of a recession, with a fledgling business. During the previous summer we’d almost been bankrupt.

But it was a New Year… filled with hope and promise. I felt that warm fuzzy glow of optimism. 

This year would be different!

As I stared out across the moonlit fields, I had a rather bizarre thought. Nothing had changed. The scene was essentially the same. What’s more, the rabbits don’t know it was New Year… or the owls or foxes. Although we humans make a big deal out of it, there’s really no difference between 31st December and 1st January. Why would anything be different this year? The only thing that’s changed is the calendar!

And that’s the problem.

For most people, nothing really changes as one year dies and the new one begins. 

Even though they make their New Year’s resolutions and set their goals… they don’t DO anything differently.

This is the problem with goals. They are just a desired outcome… a destination. It’s easy to dream. It’s easy imagine the future we want. It’s easy to want the outcome. 

But it’s tough to do what it takes to make it a reality. 

We want the outcome, but we don’t want the process. 

And, bizarrely, it often doesn’t matter how much we want the outcome. If we’re not willing to do what it takes, we will never get it.

Most people go round the same hamster wheel time after time… year after year…

Set goal. Fail. Set another goal. Fail. 

But we don’t have to get stuck on that hamster wheel. We can get off!

Instead of being part of the 92% that fail, we can join the 8%.

So, what’s the difference between the 8% who achieve their goals and the rest? 

One answer is “focus”… our ability to focus on the processes.

Focus is the foundation of a great mindset. 

Remember I said goals are both completely useless and incredibly useful? The value comes when we set process goals and then focus on them!

Another answer is “character”.

Those who succeed have that magical blend of determination, tenacity, resilience, persistence, adaptability, and so on. 

The good news is that all of these characteristics can be developed and enhanced. They are muscles that can be flexed, trained and strengthened. That’s why we devote so much focus to developing character within Be World Class TV. 

There’s a whole month on World Class Mindset (in which we look at how to focus on the processes)… a month on Character… another month on Mental Toughness (including tenacity, resilience and how to love our Discomfort Zone)… then a month dedicated to World Class Thinking. 

And that’s just the start!

To join the 8%, click the link and subscribe to Be World Class TV.


Have a great day!