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Happy Living Roundup: Obsessed with goals

Happy Living Roundup: Obsessed with goals

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SALT LAKE CITY — We live in a nation obsessed with goals — but maybe that's not such a good thing. That's according to Michael Sigman in an article for the Huffington Post.

"To say that American society is preoccupied with both individual and organizational goal-attainment — with an emphasis on 'stretch' or 'audacious' goals — is an understatement," Sigman writes. From the corporate and sports worlds to self-help books and seminars, our culture is saturated with the notion that setting and achieving goals is the key to happiness — and they can and must be attained in a snap.

"To be sure, there are situations when goal-setting is important and even necessary. Beating an addiction, qualifying for the Olympics and spending less than an hour a day looking for your glasses come to mind as worthy targets," Sigman continues. "But beyond the value of "goallessness" in meditation, there is evidence that challenges not only the arbitrariness and frequent unfairness of goals, but the efficacy of goal setting itself." Read the entire article at

Erin Falconer, editor-in-chief of PickTheBrain, agrees. Speaking of lofty goals, she writes in a Huffington Post blog, "The flip side to these bright shiny dreams is that, more often than not, they can be blinding. If you're blinded, you can't have vision of where you want to go. And you've ended up right where you were in the first (place). Nowhere."

Rather than taking the lazy way out and avoiding goal-setting completely, Falconer suggests a different route: Instead of lamenting where you are compared to where you thought you would be, appreciate the surprising journey you have taken and the new territory you're in now.

"The second I started focusing on the here and now, what was really achievable, and stopped projecting myself into some vision of what I thought I should be," she writes. "I actually started to produce. To accomplish. To succeed. Not on my terms, but on a universally held belief of what success is."

Falconer has a "checklist for those that aspire to be great." Read the entire article at

No matter which side of the debate about goals and success you're on, there are countless ways to make them work — or not work — for you. has numerous tips, advice and resources for helping people achieve their goals. For an in-depth look at setting personal goals, read the entire article on "Planning to live your life your way."


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Lindsay Maxfield


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