So I’ve been thinking about my goals for 2017 and then I decided I didn’t want to have any.
Seriously. It’s true.
For me, setting goals is really an exercise in failure. I have a tendency to create really lofty goals in an impossible to achieve time frame and then, when I don’t reach them, it reinforces my belief that I suck at life. And I don’t really want to do that anymore. Because, in reality, I might be a hot fucking mess 99% of the time but I do not suck at life. I am real, functioning, mostly capable adult who has the ability to accomplish what she puts her mind to.
Just not if I make that stuff actual goals. It’s weird and it makes no sense. I know that. But hang in there with me.
I’ve also accepted that I’m textbook Type B personality (if there was such a thing. There should be. Type Bs are people, too!). I used to be a raging Type A. Then life happened and now I’m not. And rather than fight what’s my nature, I’m going to work with it.
Which means that my goals for 2017 look more like habit changes than actual goals.
For instance, rather than saying “I’m going to finish my book”, my goal is to write every day. Maybe it’ll be on the book. Maybe it’ll be for the blog. Maybe it’ll be editing the book. Maybe it’ll be just for fun in a notebook and no one but me ever sees it. Who knows.
And rather than saying “I’m going to lose x amount of pounds”, I’m just going to continue to adjust to being a person who exercises regularly and eats better (for what it’s worth, when you realize you can’t eat wheat, most of the tempting good stuff goes away anyway).
And rather than saying “I’m going to read 80 books”, I’ll keep reading whatever I feel like reading and however many books I read. Yup, that means no 2017 Goodreads reading goal for me. I do want to push myself out of my comfort zone of reading so I have a quasi-goal of reading genres I don’t necessarily gravitate towards (I’m looking at you, historical fiction).
And rather than saying “I’m going to be organized”, I plan to actually fold the laundry when it’s done in the dryer and write appointments down and blog on a regular schedule and do all the things that would make me be a person who has her shit together.
And rather than saying “I’m going to pay off x amount of debt” (and stop berating myself for being back in debt), the plan is to focus on the long term reason for paying off the debt and knock out whatever I can when I can. There’s also the whole habit of being intentional (again. I used to be and then that went to shit) with what I buy.
Goals I’ve given up: anything I can’t control, especially as it pertains to this blog. Followers, stats, comments, shares…all of it. It doesn’t matter. This is my hobby; it’s not my life. That doesn’t mean I want it to be crappy. I still want it to be engaging and fun and helpful and grammatically correct and I have plans for making it better but it’s not my job. My livelihood doesn’t depend on it.
Focusing on the habits and systems behind achieving the goal is a much more effective way to get me to reach the actual goal. Looking at the big picture is intimidating, it doesn’t leave wiggle room, it involves too much planning, and it puts me in competition with anyone and everyone else working towards similar goals. Which then leads me to the comparison trap and that’s a very dangerous place for me.
I don’t like being in dangerous places.
And I’m sure, buried in here somewhere, is the impact of words on your habits. It’s probably another post topic. But to be vague and leading, Kathy asked me why I started going to the gym after hemming and hawing about it for so long. And I’ll tell you that it had to do with something very specific someone said to me a few months ago. It had a profound impact on me, more than she probably intended it to have, and I think it’s what led me down the road I’m on with basically everything in my life now.
Because while I’m not goal focused, I’m improvement focused. I think that’s a good place to start.
However. There’s one goal I do have. It’s a real goal, too. You ready for it? It’s to play the guitar again. I’ve picked it up and put it down several times in my life and you know, I really like being able to play an instrument. So I’m going to do that. Who knows. Maybe in 2018, I’ll start playing the piano again, too.
How about you guys? Do you have goals for 2017 or are you more like me?