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Forget goals, just do your best!

Mile #5

About this mile

Know Your Direction

focus on areas in life you want to improve

Do Your Best

to move forward in that direction

Be happier

appreciate your progress

Forget Goals, Just Do Your Best!

Too many people in today’s world are focused on setting and achieving specific targets. For years large corporations have insisted on employees setting so-called SMART objectives in order to know what they are supposed to be doing and to stay motivated. But how many times have you ever heard a gold-medal winning athlete say “I’m excited to be above-expectations against my smart objective”? That language does not fit in with world-class performance.

You are much more likely to hear world-beating athletes talk about “their dream come true”, or saying things like “I can’t believe it”, or “it’s insane”.  This is because these gold winning athletes simply did their best. Yes – they had a dream, but they did not turn it into a smart objective.

Setting smart objectives fails on 2 levels – firstly it is a way of limiting your true potential. How will you know if you have done your very best if you stop and feel satisfied when you hit your target? To perform at the peak of your abilities you have to do your best – it’s as simple as that.

The second issue with objective setting is that it fails to bring lasting happiness. Rather than enjoying the journey, people who focus on the next target are always on the other side of happiness. As humans, we are really good at convincing ourselves that when we hit that next target everything will suddenly be ok. We won’t need to work as hard, we will be able to relax more, and be happy with our performance – but that is not what happens. We simply set new targets which replace the old ones and the whole cycle starts again.

Why would we make today’s happiness dependent on hitting future goals?

In this mile of the book we learn how to ‘Forget Goals’ and apply your runner’s ‘Do Your Best’ mentality in your everyday life. Learn how to go further in your life without compromising your enjoyment of life today.

…I didn’t go there to just do ok.

Jesse Owens

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Learn more in the "Run a Better Life" book. Available soon on: