If you're like me, it's kind of like being told to drop kick your dog. I have no intention to do either, thankyouverymuch! Setting and achieving goals has been at the core of my work for many years, so when I saw this article talking about applying the lily-pad mindset to your life I was taken aback. While I applaud Burkeman's approach to not "postpone his happiness" until he reaches a goal, the thought of "abolishing" goals scares me. Sure, you're working toward something as you hop from lily-pad to lily-pad, but unless you have an endpoint in sight, how do you know where you're going?
Or maybe Burkeman is talking more about the system than the goal, like James Clear (via Jeff Haden) in An Almost Foolproof Way to Achieve Every Goal You Set. If that's the case then I'm on board! Focusing on the system (or process) of achieving a goal makes it much more manageable. Want an example? I sure did! If you set a goal to write two books in one year, well that's a pretty daunting goal. But if you set a writing schedule, and stick to it (!!), then it seems a bit easier, which is what Clear did.
Clear didn't set benchmarks, he set a schedule. I can get behind that. I know that I work best if I have a goal in mind, even if they are daily goals- my own version of a lily-pad. Do you stick to a schedule? Are you a goal setter?