Goals work best for activities requiring a high activation energy for you to get going.
A goal acts like a catalyst to reduce the activation energy. It gets you started, and keeps you going.
Activities requiring no activation energy do not require a goal. Such activities come naturally to you.
Setting a goal on something that comes naturally to you actually increases the activation energy of that activity, and makes you more likely to stop enjoying the activity. A goal thus becomes a limitation.
If you hate saving money, you need a goal (target savings) to help you commit to any savings journey, or else you will give it up quickly, because you cannot track progress.
If you enjoy saving money, you do not need a goal (target savings) to help you commit to any savings journey. A goal will actually frustrate more than it will motivate you, because what you were doing that brought you joy will now look inadequate.
The same applies in our approach to workout, prayer, diet, investment, writing, and so on.
Knowing where to (and where not to) apply goals as a tool to drive commitment is important.
– Osasu Oviawe