This is a radical step for a chronic goal-setter, planner and excel-spreadsheet-maker like me. As the end of 2012 approached I set out to find the perfect goal-setting solution. I tried apps, paper and pen forms to fill out, online activity trackers and other things related to Anthony Robbins.
Then I realized I’m not Anthony Robbins. I’m not that tall and my hair is too long. Oh, and I’m not that rich and famous. The super-achieving bloggers I looked to for inspiration on the matter had begun to irritate me with their rigid systems and year-long paperwork. The contrarian deep inside burst out of my chest like that scene in Alien and screamed, “Rebel! Say NO to goals!” But it was hard to hear at first because it was all high-pitched and speaking in a foreign language from another planet.
As soon as the idea began to clarify the little light bulb on top of my head (which recently burnt out and had to be replaced. I’m now using a 7-year fluorescent bulb) lit up like Christmas. I then took the next typical step and panicked because the idea just seemed insane. So I wondered if other people had been the daring trailblazers I needed to calm me down. After about 12 seconds of research I discovered Leo Babauta of the lovely blog Zen Habits had done just this very thing. And lived to tell about it.
Now everything has been finalized (which is actually nothing) and I’m proud to declare 2013: A Year Without Goals
I know what you’re going to say, “But, isn’t not having any goals actually a goal?” Look, my husband has already grilled me on this until I was about ready to choke him like Homer Simpson so this joke is already old. Please find some new material.
The point of this year long experiment is to pay closer attention to what I’m doing now instead of what I think I should be doing. Especially since I often think I should be doing certain things to make me a better person. There’s nothing wrong with me, I don’t need fixing. I don’t need to be able to do ten men’s pushups by March 8, 2013 or cut out sugar for thirty days or whatever goal I’ve concocted to make the future look perfect. Me and my life are just perfect the way they are now.
In no way does this mean I will be relaxing in a tub with bath salts every day (although that would be fabulous). It simply means I’ll be working on the things I love when the time allows. It means I’ll be open to the surprises that arise nearly every day, like a poo-diaper that leaked all over and other lovely events that add up to a lifetime.
What I won’t be doing is worrying about the progress of my goals or rather, forgetting about them completely until my calendar reminds me a goal is due. Oops.
I’ll be posting regular updates on the progress of the no goal year and I encourage you, if you are not yet inspired, to lighten your load by eliminating even just one or two of your goals for this year. My shoulders feel lighter already.