The story below was written by me exactly one year ago, when 2018 was about to start. Today I revisited it and I'm amazed how much it matches my current state, when 2019 is about to start.
Let me tell you a little story about me.
Whenever a year was close to its end, I used to grab my agenda and write down all the good things that happened to me in the year that was about to end.
More important than that, I was making a list (always in my head, was too afraid to write it on a paper, obviously) with the things I was dreaming to happen in the following year. Don’t ask me why I hadn’t had the power to write them down! Hmm … or maybe because I was too afraid that if written, they must be
Otherwise, I would be disappointed.
In 2017 I had set some goals, in my mind, of course. Some of them were easy to be measured, some were not.
- start a photography course ✅
- regular visits to the dentist ✅
- gym ✅ (3 times per week for about 8 months — a personal record!)
- start playing tennis ❌ (in my defense, in 2017 I watched more tennis that I had watched my entire life and I bought a set of tennis balls)
- swimming ❌
- be more proactive. Well, this is a bit too hard to be measured, sometimes I was proactive, sometimes I wasn’t. I would call it PARTIALLY ✅
- read 24 books — UNCHECKED. Read 22.eat healthier and drink more water — PARTIALLY ✅. A bit hard to measure those ones. Overall, I am happy with what I have accomplished.
- live, love, laugh ✅
When 2018 started I decided to take some other approach with regards to goals set.
Forget about setting goals!
Don’t get me wrong, I am still convinced that goals are good, have their own purpose, helping you get where you want to be. Also, I believe that the goals you set would be good to be on a shorter term and easy to be measured.
Otherwise, you might lose yourself on the way and lose your focus until the year ends. Also, what you think at the beginning of the year to be a good goal for you to accomplish, it might become a headache if you don’t define proper steps helping you to accomplish that goal until the end of the year. Maybe you would want to have as a goal to lose weight, but you don’t include in your plan some actions like defining a meal plan, going to gym classes, be more active, drink more water, or simply find the motivation for all these.
Sometimes, the path with all actions in achieving a goal is more fulfilling and brings more joy than the actual goal achieved.
In 2017 I have learned a bunch of great life lessons.
One of them in that you are your own driver and only you have the key deciding the direction your life needs to follow. Having this in mind, you can think about the life you would like to live by asking yourself the proper questions.
▪️ Am I happy with my personal life?
▪️ Am I happy with my professional life?
▪️ What are my passions? And what do I do to make them possible?
▪️ What would I like to do and I hadn’t the courage to do it until now?
▪️ Am I happy with what am I doing every day?
▪️ What would make me really, but really happy?
Answering this kind of questions can lead you to make decisions that might have a good impact on your life and help you define the actions you need to develop. Actions you can work on every day.
I reached the conclusion that I would have a system to follow, rather than a set of goals. It is hard to predict the future, almost impossible and whenever you set a goal for an entire year is like you’re trying to predict where you will be in one year, without taking into account the risk that something might happen during the road and your plans need to be adjusted over and over again. It is not a bad thing though to revisit your system and ensure that you are on a good track.
How my system would look like for 2018?
Well, it’s pretty simple. I know that I love my job, I love what I am doing and I am going to spend enough time improving my skills, learning this or that thing. I know that in 2018 I want to continue with what I have started in 2017, like going to the gym and practice several times per week, eat healthier and drink enough water. I also know that my passion for reading will stay and I will continue to read as often as I can, even though I did not reach the magic number 24. What I surely know is that I will continue learning about photography and taking photos.
As you can see, there are no precise goals for me this year. My daily job is to keep in mind which are the activities that make me happy to continue to do them, which are the things I need to improve, to observe the things that are not bringing satisfaction and have the power to stop them.
And more importantly, being present and active. Worrying less about the big goals can reduce the stress of achieving a certain performance and let us focus more on every day’s actions.
What you do today can improve all your tomorrows. — Ralph Marston
As a takeaway, I want you to keep in mind that no matter if you are setting long-term goals, short-term goals or no goals at all, your daily actions are the ones that define your growth.