Why I Gave Up Chasing Goals!

If you’re miserable when you hit your target, then it’s not really a victory. Personally, if I have to dumb down, tone it down, or amp it up to be more appealing to more people, then I’m not that interested.

I want to be thrilled. I want love to sit at the center of my business plan, at the center of my life. And that’s what keeps me, well, centered. And that’s the goal.

I want to feel good more than I want to check accomplishments off my list.
I want to feel good more than I want to please other people.
I want to feel good more than I need to look good.

All the goal-chasing I used to do, partly out of wanting to feel like a cool entrepreneur, was pecking away at my peace of mind and contributing to my already deeply entrenched complex of never being enough. Big enough, loving enough, wealthy enough, strategic enough, evolved enough, popular enough.


Intentions & goals are tools for liberation. But when we use goal-chasing like a hammer, it can beat up on our self-esteem, relationships, and creativity.

The foundation of a good relationship with intentions & goals is keeping in mind that the primary aim of setting and working toward them is to feel the way you want to feel.

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Danielle LaPorte is the creator of The Desire Map, author of The Fire Starter Sessions (Random House/Crown), and co-creator of Your Big Beautiful Book Plan. An inspirational speaker, former think tank exec and business strategist, she writes weekly at DanielleLaPorte.com, where over a million visitors have gone for her straight-up advice — a site that was named one of the “Top 100 Websites for Women” by Forbes. You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter @daniellelaporte

  • My2c

    Good one

  • So, so true!

  • Very nice – well put

  • Beckybvance

    Amen to that!

  • Koos

    eye opener,
    thank you Danielle

  • Drew

    SO well said!! Thank you… The “feeling” part is key!

  • Love

    I have been feeling this way for a while, it is so true, the purpose of a goal is to feel good about it, so why not to feel good during the whole process.

  • Thank for the insight Danielle, just the answer I needed for what I’ve been feeling. 

  • Living with Joy

    You are a mind reader.  I just had this very conversation with my coach yesterday.  I have never been a goal setter but I am certainly a doer.  I have accomplished a lot but mostly because I have stuck to my intention for what I say I want or need.  But for some reason I started to feel as if I lacked something because I don’t follow or set goals which include next step type plans.  I am someone who runs with my heart.  Not always disciplined but still driven to feel what I want to feel.  My drive comes from my needs and expectations of being a good mother (not my only role)and living by  good role modeling.  So your post is timely because just yesterday I was feeling like half a person because I don’t set concrete goals to reading your post and hearing that living my intentions is not any less than being or chasing goals.  Great food for thought and a great lead-in to ask my self a deeper more meaningful question of what feels fulfilling for me without labeling it as a goal or intention.  As you said “balance is key”.


  • Girl, you clanged my gong when you said, “…dumb down…to be more appealing to more people”. I’m with you. Ain’t. Gonna. Do it.

    I have been guest posting in a lot of interesting places lately. But I have had articles rejected lately in a few places too. In each case, what they basically called for was down-dumbing. I can understand why. They may be trying to take fourth graders to fifth grade and that is a fine objective. My fourth grade teacher was the best teacher I ever had so I completely respect what they are doing. But I about taking upperclassmen to their degree. I can’t dumb it down and be true to my mission.

  • Mind Reader

    Hi Danielle, Your first line caught my attention. If your miserable when you hit your target then it wasn’t your target. If you achieve your goal and feel blah then it was probably someone else’s goal. Maybe your parents thought you should be…an accountant. As a great teacher once said, Most people are other people.