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My 2012 Experiment with Goals

by Gary Bamberger on January 25, 2013

I was profoundly impacted by a blog by Leo Babaua about living without goals that I read in 2011 at some point.  I thought it was a remarkably freeing concept and one that allows people to live more fully in the moment.  I saw the possibilities of allowing Life to unfold in it’s own pace and in it’s own way.

Based on this, I took a new & different approach to establishing goals for 2012.   I wasn’t able to fully give up the perceived safety of goals for 2012.  Instead, I simplified my goals by making them more nebulous.  That’s counter to what I would have normally thought.  My intention was to allow my life to unfold in an organic & creative way.

My sole professional goal was to create a position that provides me with the opportunities I want under the conditions / terms I want.  Pretty open ended, eh?  During the year, I left my steady salaried job and started working for myself and aligned with another company that provides training and coaching in software delivery.  At the beginning of 2012, there would have been no way for me to have developed this as a goal for myself.

Another goal I had for 2012 was to volunteer more time with non-profit organizations that impact a broad reach of people.  I completed my annual campaign to raise funds for Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation to help cure type 1 diabetes, which hits very close to home for me.  Beyond this, I was selected as a speaker at the Scrum Gathering in Barcelona, Spain.  The Scrum Gathering is organized by the Scrum Alliance, which is a non-profit that exists to “increase awareness and understanding of Scrum.”  The session I led had ~70 people attend.  I was not paid for travel time or the time that I presented my materials.  This is another example of a completely unexpected fulfillment of a goal.

I set all 4 of my goals for myself in this way.  I met all four of my goals.  What a stark comparison to what I had done in the past! And, I feel that 2012 was one of my best years!  Because of my approach, my gremlins / saboteurs do not have the same amount of ammunition to work with as compared to prior years.   And, I’m continuing with this approach in 2013.

Here’s my 2¢ on this topic.  Find a method of establishing goals that helps move you forward in a positive and affirming way!  If this means creating very specific goals for yourself with detailed plans for the execution and achievement of your goals, that’s great!  If it means having no goals at all as Leo suggests, that’s great!  And, if you’re somewhere in the middle, that’s great, too!  The key is to find something that works for you and affirms who you are as a person.

Do you need support in defining your goals for this year?  How would an accountability partner help you?  If there’s some way that I would be able to support you in developing and / or achieving your goals this year, please be the proactive leader of your life & send me an email at


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