Goals shape our personal identities, structure our everyday lives, regulate our behavior, and thus are in fact one of the most important sources of performance and well‐being. Successful goal striving unfolds between tenacious persistence on the one hand and timely disengagement on the other when a goal has become futile and too costly. Disengagement from goals is often difficult, however. Issues of unproductive persistence and (unsuccessful) goal disengagement have, for a long time, been addressed primarily in the realm of monetary decision‐making (escalation of commitment). In the more recent past, research on personal goals has devoted attention to issues of goal disengagement, doing so from two different research perspectives (individual differences approach, process‐oriented approach). This essay gives an overview of traditional and current research on goal disengagement with its practical implications for the individual but also on a societal level, and outlines promising lines of research addressing fundamental questions still unanswered.