’Tis the time of year for everyone to be talking about goal setting. What do you want to be and do in the new year? What are your goals and how are you going to achieve them?
And that’s kinda fun – it’s always nice to imagine all the possibilities of a brand new year. But kinda also a bit stressful. What if you just don’t know what you want to do?
There’s a lot of talk out there about following your dreams and setting yourself the big goals that slightly scare you and working all out to get there. And that’s all well and good if you have a dream that you’re not acting on. Go for it. Pick a move towards it, make it a priority, get out there and do it.
But what if you really…. don’t? There just isn’t a ‘one thing’ that you know, deep down, you should be going for. There aren’t even two or three things. Sure, there’s a hundred million ideas popping up which would all be super cool. But how do you choose? How do you decide which of those ideas are important enough to spend your time on?
Because let’s face it, most of us don’t have all that much spare time available once the life essentials get done (maybe I should Streamline All The Things so that I suddenly have more time? There goes option hundred million and one…). So if you’re going to commit to spending time on something, it should be something good.
But what if it’s not good enough? What if there was something ‘more good’ you could have been doing instead? And here begins the spiral of not actually doing anything at all because it might not be the right thing to do.
So here’s a little encouragement to not worry about the Big Life Goal, just yet, if that idea paralyses you. Forget the life vision. Don’t think about where you want to be in ten years time, or what the eulogy will be at your funeral.
Just maybe lean into something, and see where it takes you.
Got a nagging feeling you should be eating more healthily? Pick a meal. Spruce it up. Try it on for size. You don’t need to overhaul your entire pantry and design the ultimate calorie and macro-nutrient ratio. Just find a few decent looking breakfast options and stick with them for a while. If it feels like it’s adding something to your life, you’ll be motivated to expand things. If it just doesn’t seem worth it, maybe it’s actually not. Either way you’ve learnt something.
Want to exercise? Don’t tell yourself you’re going to get up at 6am and head to the gym for an hour’s heavy lifting workout before breakfast. Pick a 5-minute a day routine and work it in. Want to read more? Pick a fun book you probably wouldn’t fit in otherwise, decide on 5 minutes a day to read it, and finish it. See if you want to do more. Want to start a blog? Try writing more. Want to start a web design business? Play with a personal homepage. You get the idea.
Don’t even know what you might want to do? Pick something that sounds fun, or challenging, or worthwhile, and try it out for a few weeks. You’re not committing to devoting your life, or even your year, to it. You’re just trying something new and seeing if it fits.
Granted, you’re probably not going to change the world without a single minded, nail it down, Goal-with-a-capital-G. But a little experimentation might just change you. And who knows where that might lead?