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a blog by Chris Barrow

Be careful with that goal - it might destroy you

This may sound strange, coming from a business coach who spends most of his days working with clients on setting goals (and the rest reviewing his own).

I've seen a couple of examples recently of people who have become so obsessed with their goals that they have lost sight of reality.

The Principal working 7 days a week ON and IN her business and taking zero time out for personal rest and family connection.

The manager trying so hard to prove her worth that she has become snappy and irritable with the team.

The Dad who hasn't got time to play football because there are postgraduate assignments to submit.

A client asked me the other day a series of questions:

"How do you find the time to:

  • read at least 30 books a year?

  • train for marathons?

  • watch the box sets that you rave about?

  • walk the dogs with Annie when you are home?

  • write your blog 5 days a week?

  • keep a personal journal (you write a daily journal as well!)?

  • post all that stuff on social media?

  • keep on top of your personal and professional finances, to the penny, every week?

  • record two podcasts every month, three Academy broadcasts and a monthly newsletter?

....and still have time to visit with clients 4 days a week and travel all over the world?

And, by the way, do you ever sleep?"

The answer, of course, is to be very well organised, to focus on my unique abilities, to enjoy the support of an excellent team who do "everything else", to use my Full Focus Planner to identify my three biggest tasks every day and to plan my calendar way ahead for Free, Focus and Bunker Days.

By the way, my Garmin stats tell me that I average around 7 hours sleep per night, largely by going to bed at a decent time whenever possible. My average stress level is 18/100.

Tip: get yourself a wearable device that tracks all of this - I have a Garmin Vivosmart.

On reflection, maybe I have avoided becoming obsessive about a single goal, like a struggling cash flow, the approval of a boss or an MSc.

I'm busy but I'm not stressed, worn out or driven by a single target.

In today's "Daily Stoic" reading:

"What we desire makes us vulnerable"

Be careful what you wish for.

A man or woman on a mission can be a monster.

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