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Do You Need Daily Goals For Your Personal Life?

Daily goals are a good way to stay on track and get done what needs to be done. This raises the question; do we need to have daily goals for leisure time?

The Advantages of Daily Goals

There are several advantages that daily goals have to offer. By setting goals for yourself you create a finish line for yourself. You want to get there. Goals are a perfect way to complement your time management best practices. They can help you remain focused and on track. If you want to complete your most important to-do’s, goal setting is perfect for you.

Sometimes it happens that you set goals for a large date range, like a week or month from now. This gives you some time to work towards the goal you want to accomplish. But at the same time you might be easily distracted, as completing your goal is not (yet) urgent. In the worst case you keep procrastinating and you’ll forget to complete your goal. This is why daily goals are so powerful. If you take one step per day to accomplish a large goal, you’ll get there eventually. Daily goal setting is a great way to get closer to your ultimate goals.

So, it seems daily goal setting seems to work. From experience I know it works in the office. It can divide large projects into smaller, bite-size pieces. If you take these small goals, day after day, you can make good progress. If I work on a large project, which is not split up into subtasks, I know that procrastination will get the better of me. I won’t start unless the urgency is too much to bare. Daily goal setting is what makes me productive, efficient and effective.

So, is there any downside to daily goals?

Why Daily Goals Might Not Work For Your Leisure Time

You might think that daily goal setting has no downsides. You can easily set daily goals to remain focused and on track. But what about leisure time? Most of us have some sort of side project, or other small projects that need to be completed at home. So daily goals might help you accomplish those goals, right?

To some extent, I agree. But recently I noticed why daily goals might not work for me in my leisure time..

I used to set daily goals for my personal life as well. I used to plan what I was going to do in the evening and in the weekends. I try to hit the gym at least three times per week. I would block the time I needed on three evenings for the gym. Then I would also have some idea to what I wanted to do in the weekends. I usually have some large side project or a bunch of smaller tasks I want to do in the weekends.

But, I noticed that I enjoy my leisure time the most when I have the idea that I have no obligations. Unfortunately, having daily goals are obligations. They are a promise to yourself. That you are going to do and complete this or that. To some extent daily goals can create friction and unease. It might feel as if you can only enjoy your time outside of the office when you have completed your tasks and have no further obligations.

To this day I still set daily goals for the weekends, but I must say, I try to keep the things I need to do to a minimum. Also, I try to spend as less time on these projects or daily goals as possible. This forces me to think “80/20” style; doing as much as can and being as efficient as possible.

For me, this creates a lot of ease and relaxation. I feel productive, because working on the daily goals help me achieve my ultimate goals. And at the same time I have enough time to relax and really enjoy my time outside of the office.

So, what is your take on this? Do you think daily goals for your leisure time and side projects are a good idea?

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