I’ve always be a goal-oriented gal. Every year-end I love to reflect on the year that was, integrate the lessons and vision what may be.
I’ve noticed, however, when working with people who are trying to change, that setting goals can trigger anxiety. Goals don’t always seem to support happy change, and we can get a little reductive and crazy around them – push push push. Goals also suggest an endpoint.
When it comes to lifestyle change, there isn’t an endpoint – there are ongoing choices and adjustments. There is practice. Rather than goals, how about milestones – points along the way that can let you know you are on the road you intend. Rather than push, how about flow.
Words are important – they do nothing less than create our world. So, let’s re-think the language surrounding goals – particularly if goals make you anxious.
Rather than goals, think about shift (I call them milestones). Rather than relapse, it’s life (I bow down to my teacher-friend Aruni for that one!). This language feels more real and relevant. When I use allowing and flow language in a workshop, I can see people relax and focus on what really matters – bringing their lives a bit more in alignment with who they are.
The yogis say that change is a dance of being and becoming. Of embodiment and right action. Here in the West, we focus so much on the action phase, but really not at all on the quieter embodiment side of practice. Of walking your talk, and acting as if you understood how sacred the process can be.
Today, life is moving so fast, and is so open to limitless possibilities and is so unpredictable that setting goals seems…not so relevant. I like the idea of getting clear what you are interested in bringing into your life, and the practice doing that – experimenting with the many ways you can walk your talk, and take the right next step.
Did you make goals for 2018? Have they made you a little anxious? How about giving yourself a break, and softening your goal language into shifts, milestones, and practice?