With the dawn of a new year, many are frantically trying to keep track of supposed new year resolutions, vowing to make 2018 the best yet. So I challenge you, perhaps don’t resolve to change anything but rather resolve to do.
Why are they important? Why does it feel like goals are both revelatory, and seemingly intangible? When I visualize what a “goal,” is in my life, I think of it like a glittery object that once captured will somehow drop confetti into my lap and make me both shine brighter and more brilliantly. No wonder the great sport of soccer uses goals to keep track of the score. It’s like life single-handedly showing us we are capable of taking it by the balls. 🙂
Goals mean a lot of things to a lot of different people. Some don’t believe in the value of setting goals for themselves, and others live religiously by them setting goals every single day. Drink more water. Walk 10,000 steps. Do one random act of kindness. But what about those goals that even you don’t fully believe are capable of reaching? What about those goals you repeat over and over in your head, yet can’t find the courage to say aloud? Those are the goals I’m talking about. Those are the big, scary, ferociously intimidating goals that are absolutely essential to growth. And you know what makes them so integral to your being? A majority of the time you never reach them. And that’s what makes them so important.
Why would that be important? Remember when you were in the second grade and the response to people asking you what you wanted to be when you grew up was an Astronaut? Or the President? You let yourself dream and fully believed that one day it would become a reality. That innocent imagination motivated you to keep learning and experiencing all the things in life that were important to you. It’s no different for your twenty or thirty or forty year old self. Dare to dream a little into the realm of (seemingly) impossible. Keep experiencing life no matter what the outcome. Dare to fail and learn from those mistakes. It’s through those endeavors that you find your passions and lust for adventure.
To me, setting goals means dedicating my mindset to being present in the moment. Setting process-oriented goals means not looking too far ahead but rather giving all my energy to each situation. I’ve learned throughout my sage 21 years of life that somehow things fall into the place the way they are meant to. More often than not it’s difficult to imagine how that works, but never the less trusting that it’s meant to be. It also means being honest with what makes me happy. If I ever find myself in a situation that feels inauthentic, or creating an abundance of negative energy, I change it. No questions asked. Life is too short to give your time to moments that neither inspire or motivate you to be a better or happier person. And that’s not selfish. It’s self-care.
Goals give me purpose. When my alarm clock goes off at what is seemingly the butt-crack of dawn, I remind myself what I’m working towards. It’s the perspective lense in which my goals allow me to look through. Sure it’s not all in rose-colored vision, but I’ll say for certain it’s never blurry. When you want something bad enough, you’ll be able to see it perfectly, with 20-20 vision no matter how terrified you may be of falling short.
New year, new you? I challenge you to sit with the aspirations you’ve been dreaming of. Try something foreign. Set a goal for yourself in which reaching it may seem like the most outlandish thing you’ve ever done. When I first picked up a book about Ultra Running now nearly three years ago, I outright guffawed when I read some people run 100 miles. Voluntarily. And the (very early) morning I completed mine, my world changed.
So set gnarly goals. Set little goals. Set process oriented, mind-expanding, heart enriching, community building, self-fulfilling goals and enjoy every minute of seeing them become a reality.