Ever write a list like this one?
You sit down at the beginning of a new year, full of goals and determination. You remember being told a hundred times as a child that the only way to achieve is to set goals and then work toward reaching them. Self-help gurus tell you to aim high and think positively. You can do anything you set your mind to, they say in hundreds of books, blog posts, and articles.
Of course, we all know what happens after you set those goals. You start out with energy, but soon you start to falter. You get a little behind on your self-imposed schedule and that makes you anxious. Then you fall even further behind. You start to realize you aren’t accomplishing what you set out to. You swear to yourself you’re going to catch up. When you realize you can’t possibly get back onto your original schedule, you adjust your timeline—but you get behind on that one, too. Pretty soon, you come to the horrifying conclusion that you’re not going to accomplish your goals. You have failed.
This is why I’m not a fan of goals. There are a lot of people out there who aren’t going to like this, but I think we’ve been brainwashed about the value of goals, and that we’ve become a bit addicted to them. I don’t think they help us achieve: I think they just set us up for failure.
I’m not the only one coming to this conclusion. Zen blogger Leo Babauta wrote about the value of not having goals back in 2010. Success coach James Clear argues that goals reduce our current happiness and are actually at odds with achievement. And there’s research to back us up, as this article by Ray Williams shows.
I have been slowly learning to let go of goals in recent years. It isn’t easy: The notion that we must have goals is deeply engrained in our culture. But I’ve come a long way. It’s been absolutely freeing—and it’s actually helped me accomplish more, not less.
So, this year, I’m not setting goals for my writing or anything else. That doesn’t mean I won’t be writing with all the energy and focus I can generate, or that I won’t be utterly devoted to my writing. It means I’ll do that from an awareness that the present moment is the only one that counts, that the Universe is abundant and infinitely generous, and that what is happening right now is all right. With that in mind, here are:
My New Years Resolutions for 2014:
Write with JOY.
Gaze out the Window More
rest (when I need to)
Sing ~ Dance ~ Tell Stories ~ Play ~ Take Walks ~ Drink Tea ~ Read ~ Listen to Music ~ Eat Soup
HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE AND BLESSINGS FOR 2014!
Causes Jill Jepson Supports
Humane Society of the United States, Defenders of Wildlife, Interational Society for the Protection of Burros and Mustangs, National Wildlife Federation,...