Consider giving up goals
Happy Tuesday to you and HAPPY NEW YEAR! The holidays were great at our household - I hope your holiday season was joyful!
With the new year comes "New Year's Resolutions" or as I see it....goal setting.
If you google "goal setting", over 4.1 million results pop up. It's amazing how much information there is about goal-setting out there. I know I've read my share of books and sat through many seminars on the topic.
So, during the break, a good friend of mine sent me a very interesting article about goal-setting, or should I say, not goal-setting. I found it thought provoking and would like to share it with you.
Consider Giving Up Goals
"Living without goals definitely takes courage.
When I first heard the concept of living without goals over 10 years ago, I actually got upset. And to top it off, I heard it from one of my highly respected mentors, Thomas Leonard...so I was even a little bit more upset.
I thought, 'that's the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard - what would I ever get done if I didn't have a plan and goals?!?' and went right back to setting goals and working hard to achieve them.
But the idea stuck with me, mainly because it felt so radical. And after a decade of flirting with the idea, I have spent the last couple of years deeply exploring what it's like to live without external goals and follow my inner guidance instead - and still get things done.
And here's what I'm learning: I find that I often get much MORE done when I don't set goals than when I do. And I'm spending time doing what I love, which is a huge reward in itself.
According to Stephen Shapiro, author of Goal-Free Living, there are 8 secrets to living life free from the constant pressure of goals:
* Use a compass, not a map - have a sense of direction, and then let yourself wander and try new things on the way to fulfilling your aspirations
* Trust that you are never lost - every seemingly wrong turn is an opportunity to learn and experience new things
* Remember that opportunity knocks often, but sometimes softly - while blindly pursuing our goals, we often miss unexpected and wonderful possibilities
* Want what you have - measure your life by your own yardstick and appreciate who you are, what you do, and what you have . . . now
* Seek out adventure - treat your life like the one-time-only journey it is and revel in new and different experiences
* Become a people magnet - constantly seek, build, and nurture relationships with new people so that you always have the support and camaraderie of others
* Embrace your limits - transform your inadequacies and boundaries into unique qualities you can use to your advantage
* Remain detached - focus on the present, act with a commitment to the future, and avoid worrying about how things will turn out
So if the idea of putting together another one-year, five-year, or ten-year plan fills you with frustration, consider the idea of letting go of goals as a way of life. And play with the idea of following your guidance all day long, each and every day.
You may be surprised at the wonderful opportunities that unfold."
I think my favorite of the 8 points above is "use a compass, not a map". I do have written goals, and I update, tweak, and revise them each year. I do believe in the saying, "how do you get where you're going if you don't know where that is", but I've never been a big believer in writing down my Top 100 goals....my "Bucket List". I enjoy my everyday life. I've never been compelled to have that type of list or be rigidly focused on goals.
My daily goal is simple or you might say "cliche"...I want it to be a good day. And by good day I mean, I want my kids to go to school well-fed and in a happy mood; I want to look forward to going to work; I want to learn something that makes me a better person; I want to make a difference in someone's life whether it's one of my teammates, a client, or the grocery line clerk; then, I want to pick my kids up from school with energy to give to them; fix a good dinner; and spend some quality time with my husband. That to me is a "good day".
So, I guess my theory on goal-setting is to have goals but not to become too attached to them. Be flexible so you can adapt to present moment opportunities. Don't develop tunnel-vision so you miss out on things that might be even better.
Goals are important...we all enjoy marking things off our checklists and most of us work better with deadlines. The Law of Attraction emphasizes that what you focus on expands, and I do believe this. I just don't want to be so focused on my goals that I miss the small important moments of life!
And now for your Tuesday Coffee...."The road leading to a goal does not separate you from the destination; it is essentially a part of it." ~ Charles DeLint