Go gently into those good goals

I have a confession to make. I love goals. Making them SMART (smart, measurable, attainable, realistic, timely). Making them not-so-smart. Pushing myself through a challenge. Having to do lists, planners filled with what I should do. I gather resources around me like a blanket. Goals! Resolutions! Let me change!

To do listsBut, as I talked about yesterday, I also have a tendency to use those goals as a self-sledgehammer, to try and shoehorn myself into a box that doesn’t always quite fit. It’s painful, and I’m slowly working with the tension of not reinventing the wheel and leaning into the wisdom of others, but not jumping into every single workbook/workshop/class/book that I find. (Not that that’s a bad thing, mind you. I am finding that the mentality that I’ve been doing such things just reinforces the self-sledgehammer.)

Last year, when I was looking at the end of one year and beginning of another, I wanted to do resolutions differently. I wanted to find a way to frame it so it wasn’t about me changing or becoming someone different. But, I also wanted a way to measure what I was doing. What I ended up with were eight areas in my life where I wanted to show up more. And each had elements of measuring, so I could find a way to measure if I was showing up or not.

I found that it worked for me. That the joy of seeing the % completed go up in my little Excel spreadsheet kept me moving toward my goals. But more? It was about showing up and doing things that I already loved and that I felt made me a better version of myself. That mentality? I can get behind.

In that spirit, for 2013, I am committing to the same types of goals, with their own numbers. This helps the planning side of me, but allows for flexibility.

Building habits, building in what makes me feel more myself.

Here’s to a healthy year of leaning into the things that help us practice trust in ourselves.

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4 thoughts on “Go gently into those good goals

  1. Don’t you just love the things we do to improve ourselves — make lists, etc — that turn out to just be US being US??

  2. Yes – go gently! I find if I become too oriented toward goals and tasks that I really really forget to live in the moment. So I point in the direction I want to go, but then let it unfold and try to stay present, present! Sounds like your “general areas” system works well that way. Best wishes to you and happy 2013!

    • Same to you, Carla!

      And I agree, hard fast rules have a tendency to throw me for a tailspin anf I get more wrapped up in that than in why I’m doing it in the first place.

      I love the image if pointing into a direction, then seeing where it goes.

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