Goals and resolutions - be careful, they come with a warning

I often feel bad this time of year, a bit guilty really.

As a coach people expect me to have goal setting high on the agenda. Kinda what we do.

But in all truth, I've never been a great goal setter - not in the traditional S.M.A.R.T way at least. 

It doesn't mean I've lacked ambition, energy or focus.  I think I have, over time and for the most part, seen where I wanted to go, what I've wanted to achieve and how to go about it in a fairly systematic way (this already sounds like a contradiction!).

But with wriggle room.

Maybe a cop-out, I don't know, but mulling this over on this the last day of the year, I stumbled across some thoughts in Derren Brown's book, "Happy" (a great read btw).

So, for what it's worth, here's a few reasons (summarised and expanded) to tread carefully as you set your goals & resolutions for the 2023.

1.  We commonly choose the wrong goal, aiming for some point on the horizon that advances our narrative as we set fit.  Check on your judgement, run your resolutions/goals by someone who'll not just blow smoke up your xxxxx and agree.  To persist with a belief in an end goal, to ignore cries of others who tell you your aspiration is unrealistic, to proudly commit yourself to a maverick scheme against all the odds, could be folly.

2. We invest too much and too specifically.  If we stay true to our plan, we will need to sacrifice other aspects of our life to reach our intended destination.  We forget that nothing happens in life independently of other things.   Understand this opportunity cost before your push on.

3.  The enjoyment of arrival is usually short-lived.  When one arrives at the goal, one is still oneself, with whatever tendencies towards dissatisfaction or restlessness that may bring.  So whether your goal involves some personal milestone, a new car/house/job, whatever, you are still gonna have to deal with...you.

4.  Be prepared to fail....the forces of life (or the universe, or fate) will continue to do their thing.  They operate independently of your wishes with no care how S.M.A.R.T your goal was, how positive you felt about it, or how beautiful your vision board was.

5.  We are told to live our lives by focusing on the future and by believing in ourselves at all costs.  The result, too often, is waste and frustration.  By projecting ourselves always into the hereafter we miss out on the present, on knowing ourselves and the richness of the current moment.

I particularly liked that last sentence.

Might even be able to turn that into a goal....

Wishing you and all yours the very best for 2023 and all that it may hold.