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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


Personal Leadership Characteristics – Integrity

April 19, 2011

On my last blog, I provided my definition of personal leadership.  Here’s a snippet of my view on personal leadership: Personal leadership is about: Taking a leadership role in your own life. Having a clear picture of what you want to achieve and what success means to you. How you want to ‘be” while blazing […]

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Transformation and Keeping Up with the Jones’?

February 8, 2011

Recently, the phrase “keeping up with the Jones’”came up during a conversation with a friend of mine. In doing a little research on-line, I found the background interesting. This phrase was the name of a comic strip that started around 1913 where the creator, Arthur R. (“Pop”) Momand, used his experiences of living beyond his […]

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10 from 2010

January 6, 2011

As I did in 2009, I am sharing the lessons I learned during 2010 with you. My hope is that you might pick up a kernel of wisdom from this, and that you are inspired to review how 2010 unfolded for you so that you are able to carry the lessons you learned forward in […]

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Transformation – A Matter of Choice

November 16, 2010

I was at a church service recently where the Rev. John Crestwell spoke about transformation.  To paraphrase, he stated that transformation starts by making choices to effect change. The context that he was speaking in was around organizational transformation. And it’s clear to me that this would also apply to individuals as well. So what’s […]

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Mid-Year Goal Checkup

July 12, 2010

As we just passed the midway point of the year, I thought it would be useful to check in with you on how you’re progressing with the goals you established at the beginning of the year. Do you remember what they were? If you wrote them down, you may want to reference them as you […]

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Success Defined

April 22, 2010

What does it mean to be a success?  According to, the definition of success is: The achievement of one’s aim or goal. (business) financial profitability One who, or that which, achieves assumed goals No surprises there.  For me, the following definition by Booker T. Washington is an excellent defintion of success and it aligns […]

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