Nine reasons NOT to set goals for your creative endeavours

Last week I blogged about reasons it’s good to set goals. And, whilst I believe goal setting can be incredibly useful and instramental to our achievements, I also believe there are times when it’s better not to set goals.  Here’s nine reasons why…

  1. If we’re too focussed on achievement we can forget to experiment – definitely something I’m weaning myself off at the moment.
  2. Having  too many goals can be overwhelming.
  3. Training ourselves to focus on achievement can literally train our brains out of being so creative.
  4. Sometimes we get so focussed on a goal we continue too chase after it when it would be better to let go.
  5. We can fail to take the learning from an experience if the minute we’ve completed one goal we head off too quickly after the next.
  6. We can fail to relax sufficiently because we’re always thinking about deadlines.
  7. We can be in such a hurry to hit a deadline that we fail to enjoy the journey.
  8. Goals can make us feel under pressure and pressure can reduce creativity – although sometimes it can increase it!
  9. The mere thought they’re setting goals can instantly switch off some people’s creativity.

Having made those points, I concede, it’s true that well set goals and being aware of the possible pitfalls can stop us falling into these traps. Also, if you’re working on goals with a good professional coach, this should also facilitate increased creative thought and not reduce it. However, all in all, because creativity demands an amount of free thought, I do believe there are times when not setting a goal – or setting very loose goals – can be the best thing for us.

What do you think? Has this post and my two previous goal setting posts, here and here, encouraged or discouraged you from setting goals? Or perhaps there’s another change they’ve helped influence? Either way I’d love to hear about it.

Bekki Hill

Does untidiness really help your creativity?

When people cast a condescending eye over my untidy office, I always  remind myself of Einstein’s question…

“If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?”

To back up my slovenliness, researchers from Minnesota University concluded in 2013 that messy environments encourage creativity, breaking with tradition and taking risks, whilst tidiness appears to encourage people to conform and be less creative. But before you empty your rubbish bin out into your (already?) untidy workspace, I’d like to tell you a cautionary tale…

Continue reading “Does untidiness really help your creativity?”

Voices in my head

This morning The Voice of Doom is in my head. Bless it, I know it’s only trying to keep me safe. Every time it sees me stepping out of my comfort zone it shouts. Every time it hears me thinking I’m not sure it calls. The Voice of Doom is ever prepared to warn me about what might go wrong, always ready to make my heartbeat a little more anxiously and put a falter in my step.

Continue reading “Voices in my head”

Creating Focus when Goal Setting Doesn’t Work

Many creative people resist goal setting, because the mere idea of setting a deadline slams the door on their creative place. Others claim ‘it’s all in the mind’ – many highly creative people work to deadlines all the time. However, creativity itself is ‘all in the mind’ and for many people goal setting undoubtedly  makes them less creative.

The danger of not setting goals is that we drift, loose focus and procrastinate. So

How do you create focus if goal setting strangles your muse?

Continue reading “Creating Focus when Goal Setting Doesn’t Work”