HopefulShrimp :

Halfway through the year I’ve given up on goals…here’s why

Every year since 2010, I’ve laid out certain goals in my life I wanted to achieve. Many of them vague in nature such as travel more often, workout more, spend less time on social media, etc. I even attempted to be more specific and apply the S.M.A.R.T method.

Regardless of how I approached goals, I end up with the same feeling: discontent.

In 2018, I completed most of my goals. This year I had some lofty goals:

I’m sure I’ve missed a few on the list but as you can see it is extensive and can be overwhelming. For most of these goals, I started working on them the year before and this year all I was going to do is execute. Well right around my birthday, I looked at my list of goals as asked myself, “why do I really want to these things, who am I really trying to please, and will this goal actually matter to me in 10-20 years?” (I ask myself hard questions).

I immediately remember this post on Zen Habits about no goals. It reminded me how limiting my goals were. Not because they were ambitious, but because underneath those goals were preconceived notions of how I’d accomplish those goals and would feel the discontent after completing them because the reality did not match the plan I had in my head.

In a world that mandates that you have goals and that they be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based, I’m choosing to have no goals. I choose to have no goals because goals should be dynamic and fluid and not rigid. We all have different goals for different things in our lives and at different points in our lives. For example, at this very moment, I have no goals for this blog. I do not think about having a certain amount of blog posts, readers, views, revenue, etc. I simply just want to write when I feel I have something of value to share. That allows me to say no when I do not feel like writing instead of feeling obligated to write.

Maybe I’m way off the mark for some people. Maybe you are a person who has to have goals. Maybe having no goals scares you. I challenge you to wake up one morning and do absolutely nothing. Do not look at your calendar, do not look at your to-do list, simply exist in the day. Use your emotions to guide what you do. You’ll be more content, I promise.

A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving.

Lao Tzu