It’s January. It’s time to light a candle and seek resolved renewal in the cold, dark and wet. Time to aim the mind’s sextant out into the chill, clear soulnight at one’s personal North Star and set a course. Time to clear away, focus and make lists of goals. Timeframes. Working Plans. Mission Statements. Tasks. All that. Or not.
I’m workin’ on it, sorta. I belong to a few formal and informal circles where this is a daily discussion item. Some of the participants have pages and pages of S.M.A.R.T. goals. Some wish they did too. I’m not convinced.
I think I want Goals. I think I hate them because they’re too constricting and ultimately I become mulish or openly rebel or I change them drastically, so what’s the use of getting so officially worked up in the first place? I’m not the Boss of Me!
Even when I actually craft a juicy, heartfelt, authentic list of things to do and be, I notice I’m good at mistaking Goal Setting for actual achievement. Like walking through a stage set flat of a house and not a real house.
Still I feel the need to periodically choose a few directions and some supporting behaviors, both personal and professional. I think it was Yogi Berra who said, “You’ve got to be very careful if you don’t know where you’re going because you might not get there.” Be afraid of that! That way lies the abyss, the labyrinth, the black hole of meaninglessness. Honest. Or maybe it’s a Zen thing.
So, this January, to help me call my own bluff…to harness my Inner Mule and and amuse my Wild Child: Anti-Goals.
Just think of things you think, do, and are that seem to prevent you from living that Best Life. Write ‘em down. Start seeing the What Not To Wear version of your Goals. What gets revealed might just be the very thing you needed to know to start wearing your true colors.
Anti-Goals for 2011
1. Wake up daily with a sense of overwhelming dread.
2. Let perfectionism and fear of success lead to entrenched procrastination.
3. Say Yes to nearly all requests from others.
4. Remain sedentary.
5. Eat and drink nervously and unconsciously.
6. Discount all money matters; spend anyway.
7. Believe that gathering lots of artistic ideas is just as good as making art.
8. Wait to be discovered.
9. Lurk online.
10. When discouraged, do nothing. OK, whine about it and let The Voice berate your spinelessness.
11. Harbor professional jealousy and keep score.
12. Bemoan how far behind you’ve gotten.
So, there’s a dozen for you. They come easier and easier and they humor, soothe and direct me in ways my Good-Girl-You-Get-An-A+ Puritan Workaholic Get ‘er Done Checklist Self never knew. Auspicious…