Recently, I was reading an article about goal-setting. I was expecting this article to preach about how setting goals for yourself is the best way to get anywhere in life. If you don't set goals, what are you even doing with your life? You are wasting your time because you have no direction.
In fact, this article was preaching quite the opposite. Turns out, I have turned into a bit of a minimalist, which I am not hating in the slightest!
Break Free from Goals, published on Mnmlist by writer Leo Babauta, taught me that goal-setting, even if done properly, can be toxic for the individual. I think he puts it best when he says:
The problem is, when we achieve the goals, we don’t achieve happiness. We set new goals, strive for something new.
In the process of trying to be our best self, we get lost in the motions and learn that we should not appreciate the present moment. Even when we DO achieve our goal/goals, we are not happier and we start thinking about the next thing. We do not take the time to soak in our success and appreciate all the hard work that went into fulfilling what we thought we wanted. Instead, we continue to be unhappy and work towards the next goal, hoping we will eventually find happiness.
But as the famous quote goes, it is about the journey, not the destination. I wrote about this in my previous blog post entitled Life as We Know It, saying that we should be grateful for what we have, instead of focusing on what we don't. I was referring to things that we would want to buy, instead of focusing on our health and relationships. However, I think that this quote can be reframed to address goal-setting.
We should focus on what we have accomplished, instead of thinking about how to accomplish the next goal. Of course goal-setting is a good way to work towards something you wish to accomplish. However, it should not be the only thing that takes precedence in your life.
My main takeaway from this is to be proud of how far you have come. Be happy for all that you have accomplished as of right now. Of course you will only accomplish more in life, if you don't then you are not living. But also, don't try so hard that you lose sight of what is truly important.
The best lesson I have learned in life is to get back up. Anything in life is a risk, and with risk comes failure. However, even if you do not accomplish something today, that does not mean tomorrow is not a new opportunity. Appreciate the lesson life has given you and get back up stronger than you did yesterday.
If you do want to continue setting goals, make sure that you set aside some time to appreciate the life you are living now. Maybe you want to get that house or property. It is important to work towards it, but be prepared in case something unexpected comes up (although, who could have been prepared for COVID-19?) Things come up that get in our way, and if you truly want to achieve your goal then continue working toward it.
However, make time to appreciate your life as it is. Make time for yourself and to do the things that make you happy. Set goals that focus on your happiness. Or don't set goals at all! Do what is best for you.