What are your goals? Do you even have goals? Have you experienced the weird reality of finding yourself in the moment that you dreamed of years before?
The new agey community believes heavily in "manifesting" - their word that, from what I can tell, stands for making something happen without a big poster board and action items on sticky paper. "Wow, look what happens if I just make it a priority and intend a result!"
An equally strange result happens over on the conservative side, where people are busily goal setting and achieving and often make the mistake of failing to make sure in advance their goal is something worth achieving. Sometimes I wonder if those people I see at the gym at 5:00 are really happy. They're there. Clock work.
So the trick between the two extremes is: _______. To be honest, I'm not sure of the answer. But here is something to try.
What if you were to think of life in terms of swimming at a lake. A lake with lots of tributaries and little islands and floating docks. Arriving, you could stay put with your book and cooler, enjoying the day at the lake. Or, you could set yourself a goal. "Hey, let's swim out to that dock over there." Then another destination and another. Swimming would be the weekly grind getting something achieved, Saturdays would be the refreshing break upon arrival. Sundays would be when you turned your gaze to figure out "what next?"
It dawned on me a few years ago that Sunday family dinners are about grounding your week, so that you have a reference point to orient yourself on the journey of life. "Wow, this week was long. So much has happened, and here I am again, right back where I used to be." Regularity of check-ins help a person better compare week to week. I see this playing out similarly for the person who regularly watches the sun rise. "Look the sun is rising yet again. How different I am today for this sunrise, then I was for last week's sunrise."
Regular events that are bigger than ourselves act as reminders for how far we have come. They trip our mind back to the beginning point, a vantage from which we can best view our current project. And anything that reminds us of where we are in the journey, and where and why we are headed next, is a good thing.
I believe that the best part of a rigid goal system is to remind ourselves- "Oh yah, that's what I am doing here and here is where I'm headed" - when we get temporarily mind-fogged and forget our priorities. Having said that, a goal without heart and room to bend to accomodate life would be a dull march to somewhere. It's the weaving that is critical. Weave some life around your goal pole. Picture of the May pole or a decorated football field goal post comes to mind.