Friday 13 January 2012

The Best Goal is No Goal

"If you don't know where you are going, any road will take you there".
Lewis Carroll/ George Harrison
So, I’ve been procrastinating about making my New Year resolutions because Leo Babauta at Zen Habits blog says that the best goal is no goal! But what do you do if you don’t have goals?

“You simply do. You find something you’re passionate about, and do it. Just because you don’t have goals doesn’t mean you do nothing — you can create, you can produce, you can follow your passion.”

Last week I looked back at my resolutions and found that I’d achieved about half of my goals last year. For the ones that I did not achieve I’ve asked myself, did I really want to do them anyway?

Yes, I do want to finish one of the books that I started. I’m going to have to schedule in a time slot for that and get started on it. I love writing, it won’t be a chore, it’s just making the time for it. Time is a problem for achieving the other things too; housework, exercise and self-hypnosis. To make time for new things, other things have to go. In the first week of the year I removed the habits of red wine and TV from my life. I didn’t make myself any promises; I didn’t make any resolutions or sweeping statements. But I made conscious choices to do something else. I was busy. I had some writing work to do. But am I ready to let go and flow freely through life without goals? That sounds a bit scary, like being tossed about at sea! (Like the creatures in the river that are afraid to let go in Richard Bach’s Illusions).

For exercise I was thinking of trying running. I love to walk on the towpath enjoying nature. Surely running will simply be enjoying the canal, but at a faster pace? But then I look at that January weather and the squelchy muddy towpath and tell myself that I can’t remember where my trainers are…

So, instead of goals or resolutions, how about wishes?

I wish my book was finished and published.
I wish my boat was cleaner and tidier.
I wish I was fitter, healthier and had more energy.
I wish I drank less alcohol.
I wish I had more regular writing work.
I wish I had a driving licence.
I wish I was more calm and confident.

I know from being a hypnotherapist that all I need to do now is change those wishes into affirmations and actions!

I am now finishing my book.
My boat is becoming tidier and cleaner.
I am now fitter, healthier and have more and more energy.
I now drink less alcohol.
I have more and more writing work.
I am now learning my driving theory.
I am becoming more and more calm and confident.

So, my “goal” is to focus on the results, without setting down strict rules about how to get there.

What's your plan?
“Make each day your masterpiece.”
John Wooden, Sportsman


Alice said...

it's really difficult, isn't it? I don't really make 'resolutions' I just kind of want to improve on what I've done (usually) so I write down pretty much what you have... you know, things about myself that I want to improve on, how I want to be better to others, calmer in myself etc. Not specific 'goals' but things that kind of lead towards being better and they usually start from a more emotional angle, but then lead to something practical. Like this year I want to meet more like-minded people and do some volunteering because I think that will help me as a person, as well as move my life in a direction that I would like. But I do also really want to finish my novel this year. That really is my only goal... watch this space xxx

Narrowboat Wife said...

I think having one goal, like "finish novel" is much more achievable than too many goals! :-)

Narrowboat Wife said...

I think having one goal, like "finish novel" is much more achievable than too many goals! :-)