The beginning of a fresh year is a perfect opportunity to start new habits and get rid of old ones.
If you’re like me, you’re living this year — and the rest of your life — resolution-free. (If you’re also like me, you look at a new month of January as just another day.
No, but in all seriousness: What will you start this year?
The gym? Eating healthy? Starting a business you’re afraid to start? Cranking up sex with random neighbors? Skydiving? Boxing?
Whatever it may be, creating new habits instead of plans or goals was a daring, unpromising move, but also rewarding and liberating.
Maybe you’re adamant about goals, and you always follow through with your plans — that’s great and realize that is a strength you possess. If you’re sick and tired of how goals and creating plans worked out for you, continue reading.
Habits vs Plans or Goals
I never liked planning. Once a plan is created, I always feel trapped. No escape. And if I break that plan, I’m the one that looks like the bad guy.
So I dropped plans. Forever. Done. Gone. Never again.
I’ve been hearing a lot that people are living without goals — such as Leo Babauta and Jeff Goins.
And I’m beginning to understand why. Here’s my take and my story on how I lived 2011 without goals. Maybe you can relate, and maybe it’ll interest you in trying something new and daring.
Creating goals allows a person to become motivated to act — the problem is, most of the time, people fail to do so. Instead, they procrastinate, dream about the end result, and during this long process of daydreaming, they lose their drive.
When we fail to reach a goal, or it doesn’t turn out as we beautifully planned, then everything feels like it goes to shit. The world is sitting on our shoulders with its pants off after eating Chipotle.
When I started this blog, I didn’t plan on becoming the writer that I am today. I didn’t plan on guest posting or writing about personal development, writing and blogging. I never planned on becoming a writer . . . ever.
None of this was planned.
Did I have a goal? Not really . . . because I digested the idea that maybe blogging isn’t for me. Maybe writing isn’t for me. I avoided setting strict goals for myself to meet, because truthfully, I didn’t know if I was capable. I wasn’t setting myself up for failure, and I didn’t have any expectations.
Instead, I let everyday be an adventure. Some days I felt like blogging was hopeless, and other days I wanted to study, read, learn more about how to do this and that.
Until one day it just hit me. I realized I was really into writing, reading many books, and studying professionals in the blogosphere.
I created a new habit, loved doing it, and exercised it.
That’s what it’s about: creating habits, ones that you enjoy and find productive. Luckily for me, I found my passion and life-calling through this journey.
The gym — the one subject that is always talked about when it comes to habits and New Year’s resolutions — can simply turn into habit instead of something you dread.
Instead of going to the gym because you want to reach a certain weight number, why not just go because you enjoy the feeling after a hard 20-30 minute workout? That burn in your muscles and the sweat dripping off your forehead. The endorphins rushing through your body, an the cleansing feeling after you take that hot shower.
Find enjoyment in the things you do, and you’ll soon be able to find any tedious task into an enjoyable habit.
What’s the point of goals anyway? To make us feel like we’re getting something done? Why not just do something you love and start now. Forget creating grand plans and enormous goals — let’s focus on now, what we’re capable of doing at that given moment.
If you do create goals, start small
Another problem with goals: sometimes they are too big.
It’s natural for us to overachieve. We want to feel that success and the applause for tackling a great challenge or accomplishing a difficult task.
It’s a high, and I’m sure we all felt it before.
If you can’t live life without goals, then create small goes and aim for daily accomplishments. There is no point in creating a goal and trying to achieve it months later.
Start small and win today. Little success, day by day, will allow you to feel accomplished and your expectations will be lower; ultimately resulting in not setting yourself up for a big fall.
Small goals, daily accomplishments, little by little — that’s how I would create goals.
What will you start this year?
What have you done differently in your life that has helped you progress and live a more balanced life? Please share with us below.