The Loop

Nov 5, 2021

“Crush New Heights” was the subject line of an email I received from a magazine I subscribe to.

The email triggered me to take stock of where I am relative to the goals I set for this year and to begin contemplating future goals.

After 10+ years of goal setting, I am realizing that some of my goals emanate from a perspective of what I am lacking.

I therefore asked myself: “Is wanting to get what I want, what I want?”

This may seem like an odd question, yet it addresses a downside of goal setting I refer to as: “the loop”.

When we set a goal, it means we focus on something we don’t have.

How many times have you set goals, achieved them and because the sense of achievement wanes, you moved on to another higher goal?

The typical steps to goal setting are:

· You lack something

· You then set an attainment goal

· You are motivated from the lacking

· You reach the goal proving you lacked it

As we become proficient at following these steps, we become proficient at wanting which creates the endless loop!  The desire for the next goal becomes even bigger because our sensation of lacking increases.

Breaking this loop requires us to appreciate “having”.

When we practice gratitude, it makes us better at appreciating the goals we have achieved and forces us to be more thoughtful about our next goals.

This year before I set my goals, I am asking the following questions:

1) Where is it (the goal) already in my life?

2) Is this a functional goal (for example: getting in shape will allow me to go on hikes) or is it based on something I am lacking (for example: status, approval)

3) Am I motivated to achieve this goal because I am lacking something?

4) Am I striving for something I already have?

5) How meaningful is this to me?

6) Will these goals fulfill or lead me to my path in life?

Reaching goals often means sacrificing and devoting a lot of time to them.

When you set your goals to reach new heights without asking what is driving you to accomplish them, you will likely get stuck in the “loop”.

I personally have felt the sensation of accomplishing a goal and feeling empty. Hopefully with these questions, reaching my next goals will not result in getting my fix with a short term high but rather spending more time appreciating what I already have or accomplished.

I would rather be motivated by abundance than scarcity.

How are you taking the time to appreciate what you have accomplished?

Maybe a goal should be to practice “having” by listing each day what you appreciate in your life.

The email I received about reaching new heights reminded me that we are bombarded with marketing that there is an “arrival” in achieving goals.  If you arrive and it does not provide enlightenment or lead to your path, then what is the point?


Whatever you do you get better at.  Whatever you practice you get better at.  If you practice at wanting, then you become better at wanting.  Sherry Hubert

Karl Choltus

Deep thinking Canadian sharing thoughts created in the shower.