The Pressure of Goal Setting

For the first time since 2015, I will no longer choose a single word to guide me in 2019.

Back in 2014, I discovered Ali Edwards’ class One Little Word and I joined it in 2015 and 2016. Then, I decided to just go with the flow and repeat some of her lessons on my own in 2017 and 2018. I really enjoyed the process for the past 4 years and I found it a refreshing way to set intentions and actionable goals without feeling the need of setting the classic resolutions on January 1st.

Here is my word history:

  • 2015 – immerse
  • 2016 – less
  • 2017 – magic
  • 2018 – slow

The reason why I’m writing this in September is that, for the last couple of months, I thought about choosing a new word for my birthday (which is at the end of October), instead of waiting for 2019.

There is always so much (self-imposed) pressure in January 1st and I’ve often spent the last days of the year between Christmas and New Year’s Eve buried in my journal trying to recap the past 360 days, see what I accomplished, what I didn’t and then set new goals for the 12 months ahead. At first, I thought it was a nice ritual, something that would make me feel better and energised, ready for a new year, but the truth is that I was doing it because it’s what everyone does at that time of the year, it’s what everyone expects you to do.

But, hey, I’m Alice, not everyone else. Each person is different.

Lately, my only guidance has been simplifying my life, so I guess that leaving behind this yearly practice would be a step forward in that direction I’m successfully taking.

That said, my plans for the last quarter of the year are to write in my journal a simple list of things that happened and that I’ve done in my 27th year on this planet, keep it private, and move on. Between Christmas and New Year’s Eve, you’ll be able to find me watching Netflix, reading or playing LOTRO. Because this is my way to relax and to keep away the anxiety caused by comparing myself to others.


2 thoughts on “The Pressure of Goal Setting

  1. I think it’s a great thing to look at a goal we set like this for ourselves and just say “screw it” sometimes. I hate holding myself to something that only I am holding myself to, only to realize later that it was self-imposed stress that literally nobody else was effected by or generally cared too much about. I posted a list of goals this year (both in my journal and on my blog) and I’m laughing now because if I recap it at the end of the year I think I’ll probably only check one thing off. I think I’ll do that anyway just because it goes to show that goals and priorities change and we don’t have to stick to self-imposed things just because we decided at one point we wanted to!

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    1. I totally get what you mean! I prefer to gravitate towards my to-do list now, rather than my goals list, but I guess it’s the natural course of our life, constantly changing. 🙂

      Like

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