Is it time for a new approach to goal setting?On January 11, 2019 by Carrie Catlin
I’m a goal setter. Every December I assess my accomplishments of the year and think about what I want to do next. But this year I just can’t get it figured out. Nothing seems clear cut. I’ve had a few of the same fitness goals, run this race, climb that mountain. I do it, it’s fun, but what’s next? I need to set some business goals and some financial goals but I haven’t been able to get my head around exactly what they should be and if I feel committed to them this year. I started thinking about goal setting in general and whether or not it’s important. Here’s what I found.
I’m not that driven by money. Even though we totally need the stuff, it just doesn’t crank my engine. I found this great article from last year. that is totally worth a read. Forget about goal setting in 2018-do this instead.
The author says:
“When you make it about money, you almost always fail eventually.
When you make it about what fulfills you,
you’re willing to go to the end of the world to make it happen.”
According to this article, you can reach your goals by doing activities that you find fulfilling. It’s not really about the goal but about doing fulfilling activities. This reminds me of the old adage “If you love what you do, you’ll never work another day in your life.” This idea also fits in with the concept that if you help enough other people get what they want, you’ll get what you want.
So what do I find fulfilling? The other night I was watching that new show on Netflix where the acclaimed author from Japan, Marie Kondo, teaches people to organize. She has a whole process where the subject has to decide whether or not an item brings them joy. (In all honesty, I haven’t read her books but she has one called Spark Joy and another called The Life-Changing Magic of Tyding Up and they get pretty good reviews.) I think we could apply a similar approach to the activities, the busy-ness of our lives. Not everything we do can be fun, I mean we have to clean the toilets right? But, what if we only did the things that truly brought us joy? Cleaning the toilet in and of itself isn’t joyful, but, providing a clean home for my children is. So, in a roundabout way perhaps that does bring joy. (Or maybe not, that’s up to you to decide.)
The point is, perhaps we can mix up this goal setting thing that we’re always so focused on. I’m a master, I know how to break a goal down into what must be done each moment of each day. From this, I feel like most things can be done with good discipline and hard work. But, does this actually make me feel fulfilled? What if instead I spent the next year only doing activities that truly brought joy to my life. I know the hard stuff isn’t going to go away. I’m still going to have to do the work, but if I can see the work through the lens of how it fits into fulfillment, it might actually bring me more joy than I realize.
This idea is a work in progress for me. Something new I’m considering. I’d love to hear your thoughts.