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When goals start to feel overwhelming, we’re much less likely to achieve them. Here’s a simple method for setting low pressure goals that help you be who you want to be without all the added stress.

A table with a notebook, headphones, and desk decor.

Goals have to be very concrete and trackable, right?! If your goals aren’t SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound), then there’s no point in setting them…right?

I used to think so, but now I’m not so sure.

A New Approach to Goal Setting

This year I’m taking a different approach. Instead of setting fleshed-out, measurable goals, I’m setting open-ended goals based on the values I want to take priority in my life. Things like:

  1. Prioritize relationships with others
  2. Keep promises to myself
  3. Have more fun

I’ve determined what I want 2021 to look like for myself and set low-pressure goals to get there.

  • At the end of the year, if I feel like I spent time on my relationships, then I was successful!
  • If I kept even one promise to myself, hooray!
  • If I did something fun, goal accomplished!

Freedom from Pressure in Goals

This method of goal setting allows for a lot of freedom. With these goals, I have the freedom to pick and choose what I want to do in any given day, week, or month.

Do I want to fly by the seat of my pants? Great! These goals will help keep my priorities at the front of my mind.

Do I want to amp up the pressure? Awesome! I can always set smaller, measurable goals within these open-ended goals if and when I feel like it.

Maybe in February I’ll aim for going on a date with my husband each week to prioritize our relationship.

Maybe in May I’ll choose to do a habit tracker where I try to keep one promise to myself every day.

Maybe in September I’ll schedule a day of fun one Saturday where I do whatever I want, all day long.

Or maybe I won’t. That works too.

How to Set Low Pressure Goals

So if you’re feeling a little overwhelmed by the idea of goals, but don’t want to give up on them entirely, try setting some open ended goals.

Take a step back and think of what you want the coming months to feel like. What matters most to you at this point in your life? Then pick a few open-ended goals or mini visions, and let that be enough.

If we feel overwhelmed by our goals, the odds of us achieving them are very, very low. So let go of that pressure!

Goals are for You

Your goals to have to look like anyone else’s. You don’t have to set SMART goals because some expert told you that’s the only way to do it. There are plenty of ways to set goals, and you’re the perfect person to choose the way that’s best for YOU.

So if SMART goals excite you, great! Go for it!

If you want something less intense, try open-ended goals.

If you don’t want to set any goals at all, awesome! That’s always an option, and it doesn’t have anything to do with your worth or capacity. You are enough, as you are, right now. You don’t need to set goals to prove anything.

Your goals are meant for YOU, so make the decision that’s best for YOU.

I’m cheering you on, no matter what you decide.

If you want more goal tips, check out these posts:

1 comment on “How to Set Low Pressure Goals This Year”

  1. Thank you for this thoughtful blog post. One way for me to take the pressure off of achieving my goals is to think about them when I draw or color. because when I do that I feel free to think and coloring relaxes me and therefore no pressure. It’s like a process where my idea is just free to go, and new ideas or new goals are created.

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