And of course the unvicious circle of setting a goal and actually attaining that goal can be a wonderful thing.
1) I can have a goal hit a golf ball towards a tree that is five miles away.
2) I can have a goal to hit a ball that far.
3) I can have a goal to be perfect.
4) I can have a goal to be better than I can possibly be.
5) I can have a goal to paint like a digital camera.
6) I want to be able to play as drums like a drum machine.
7) I want to be able to bench press 5000 kilograms
None of these are an attainable goal. But they are goals for giving me a through line.
For some people some of those goals are so poorly formed they will annoy them greatly for others, they encapsulate some feeling so they’re fine.
So a goal doesn’t have to be attainable but you do want them to be able to give you the basis to inform your decision making.
Given that I want X, is doing Y congruent with that.
OK, given that I want to be able to do 5000 pull ups is chopping my hands off congruent with that?
Well, not really.
OK, how about going for a run?
Well that’s better but I’m not really sure.
How about asking Bob, coach to the pull up king of the universe, what he thinks?
Yes that sounds appropriate.
So you can use vague high level unattainable goals to inform making lower level goals.
You can use vague goals on lower levels to inform specific actions.
You can use unattainable goals, to set concrete sub goals, to set unattainable goals, to set direct concrete action or inaction. I wouldn’t recommend it.
The point is if you get yourself lined up inside towards something that matters, with a plan you believe is truly moving you towards that, you will know. And then you wont really care about how its formulated.