GRAPHIC BY VIVIAN NGUYEN, With the new year ahead of us, goal setting has both pros and cons.

Pros and cons of setting goals

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Although there are many advantages one can get out of setting goals for themselves, there are also a few disadvantages that can actually hurt the progress of reaching a goal. Often, when a person talks about their goals, they only consider the positive side of things and never really the downsides and whether it truly is something that is best for them. 


  1. Gives something to focus on and increases productivity.

When one sets a specific goal for themselves, it drives them to be more productive and gives a reason to dedicate one’s time and attention to.

  1. Helps to prioritize things and be organized 

With a specific goal, it can help one prioritize the work they need to do. Goals help to set priorities and decide in what order to begin work. 

  1. Gives satisfaction when progress is seen  

Goals can provide a sense of satisfaction. It gives a sense of joy and pride when the effort  makes you feel good about yourself and is slowly producing the results that you want. The feeling of fulfillment is an emotion that will push one to try even harder. A major key component to consider is whether progress is being made. Goals only give you a direction in where one is going, the journey along the way is up for you to decide. 

  1. Improve skills and knowledge

An advantage to goal setting is that it enables one to identify their strengths and weaknesses. This allows one to build your merits and improve on your shortcomings. By creating plans for goals, one’s perseverance and tenacity are being improved. 

  1. Allows you to try new things outside of your comfort zone

By setting goals, one is forced to learn, adapt, and try new things outside of what they typically do in order to reach them.


  1. Limits creativity 

The concept of goal setting is something that limits you from doing something in order to achieve what you desire. When you set goals, you are also limiting creativity.

  1. Places stress and pressure

Based on what types of goals someone sets, they may feel pressured and stressed to do something they are not used to doing. 

  1. Can be a misdirection in life

When setting a wrong goal, one is forcing themself to do it for the sake of something or somebody else. They will end up chasing the things that they do not actually want. Often, people are influenced by those around themselves, which prompts them to want to do the same thing someone else is doing. This forces them to compare and change their intentions when seeing someone with something they do not have.  

  1. Can demotivate you

Sometimes, the wrong goals can demotivate you. Instead of pushing them towards their goal, they can feel their self esteem lower when comparing themselves to others.

  1. Give false hope

When somebody is setting unrealistic goals that are outside of their abilities, they are giving themselves a false hope for something that is not within their reach.

People typically have goals that are nonspecific and unclear, which is why they may be unachievable or hard or achieve. Whenever you set a goal for yourself, take account of whether it is obtainable and within your reach. In order for your goal to be successful, you have to be clear about it. 

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