More goals, more growth, more hustle.

Um … it’s 2018. Can we not, please?

I’m a nerd for improving myself (and you probably are too), but do you ever get tired of the unspoken need to have a clearly defined goal or path for what you’re doing next in your life?

No stranger to ah-ha moments, I can recall many of them clearly. Whether it was a class, a book, or a conversation, life-altering moments can happen at any time. They’re priceless.

More often than not, positive growth + accomplishments worth being proud of take time – more time than we’d ever like them to.

Those are the changes that have as much of an impact as those instantaneous ah-ha moments.

Having your awareness altered in mere moments is something you won’t soon forget, but you also won’t forget something that you worked for daily for months or years on end. They’re the yin and yang to each other.

As a former plan-aholic, there’s nothing more frustrating than knowing right where you want to go, and then experiencing setback after setback. It makes you start to wonder if having a detailed 5-year plan is really worth it (spoiler: it’s not).

Instead of feeling the need to know what you’ll be doing 5 years from now, how about starting with what’s right in front of you?

What are you choosing to spend your time on? What are you NOT spending your time on that could use your attention?

For me, the answer to that second question was often my wellbeing. Yeah, even becoming a Yoga teacher won’t magically make you take care of yourself. Eventually, my body gets pissed off + fights back – with aches and pains, sickness, horrible digestive issues … etc.

In the last 3 years, I’ve consciously put my wellbeing towards the top of my to-do list + the changes are like night and day – haven’t been sick, skin is clearer, energy levels are up consistently, less depression + anxiety, and more ease + flow.

What’s something NOT on my list that I don’t miss? My obsessive long-term plan.

Don’t get me wrong – I’ve got goals: graduate with my Bachelor’s degree in Japanese, move to Japan, write another book, start working as a translator. The key: I have no idea what order my goals will happen in, and I don’t need to!

On the flip side, there’s nothing wrong with having a detailed plan, as long as you’re conscious of the fact that there’s a near impossible chance it will go exactly as you planned. When it DOESN’T go as planned, even if you know it won’t, you’ll feel angry, depressed, + lost. It’s natural.

There is no right answer. Have a long-term plan. Have a list of goals, pick one, and see what happens. Both are good.

I’ve lived as a detailed long-term planner and, now, as a person with a bucket list, taking things one at a time. I prefer the latter. Less stress, less perfectionism, and more enjoyment day-to-day.

Are you clinging too tightly to your detailed plan that you miss opportunities for exploring your curiosity?

Unless you never leave your home or talking to another person ever again, you’re bound to grow as a person. Slowly, steadily, with a few quick leaps mixed in.

Goals give you a focus in life, but they can also make you blind to the world around you. Like all of life, we seek balance knowing we’ll never obtain it because it’s the pursuit that adds the most value to our waking hours.

Improving isn’t everything, but curiosity is the spark that starts everything worthwhile (because no great story starts with, “So, I was eating a salad when …”).

Photo by Cory Schadt on Unsplash

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