Goals I am not planning to achieve
Here at CAREERLIONS.COM we’re talking a lot about goals and how to achieve them. What we haven’t covered before are the “goals” we are not trying to achieve. As a thought experiment, I have explored what might be goals for others, but won’t be mine. If you’re curious to know why I have un-goals and what I’ve learned from this thought experiment, make sure to read on.
Let’s be real it’s been everywhere: People going vegan. I love that a lot of people have become more aware of what they’re eating. Not only will that have a positive impact on your body, it is also a good decrease of your carbon footprint. What I am less a fan of is that – like with everything – there are some fanatics out there, preaching their vegan ideals on everyone. For me, it’s just not going to happen anytime soon. Not only do I enjoy my meat and fish, I am allergic for most the ingredients that go in most protein replacements. That having said, I did try to change my eating patterns. On a weekly basis, I like to eat more fish, rather than meat or even no protein at all. Dairy products have been cut out of my diets, with the exception of the occasional French pastry.
A goal that I have had in my mind ever since I started reading fashion magazine is to own a capsule wardrobe. I imagined having only 33 clothing items that I can combine endlessly, looking effortless and chic. In reality I know I will not have this perfect capsule wardrobe anytime soon. First of all: How hard is it to choose the right item when you can only have 33 pieces? I would end up in some kind of decision stress and not buy anything, ending up with even less to wear. Second, how much laundry skills would I need to develop. No more laundry mess-ups as the carefully curated items need special care and attention. I get slight anxiety just thinking of it. When I mess up clothing items now, I shrug and just move onto the next one.
Becoming a social butterfly
Back when I fantasized about going to university I would see myself as the perfect student during the day with just the right amount of party animal. At the time the right amount was one party a night to be exact. Fast forward ten years I know I am just not made to have social engagements every single day. It wears me off and I need some alone time to recharge. It took me a while to accept this fact as being a social butterfly was part of my perfect picture. Now, I know it’s not what sparks joy to me anymore. I would rather have the occasional quality time that I can really enjoy.
Benefits of having un-goals
Now why having un-goals? I was into deep with all the types of projects and experiments I “had” to do (most of them I imposed on myself). I couldn’t picture my real goals anymore, unable to divide primary goals from side issues. It got a little blurry, therefore the rebellious side of me invented this exercise as a coping mechanism. Even though the immediate cause might have been cynical, it has actually been a liberating thought exercise. Here are the benefits that I’ve found:
In my mind, there are so much goals I need to achieve, it feels like a relief to elaborate on what I will not even try to achieve. Now I can let go of the feeling like I always have to try.
By defining these un-goals, I have somewhat achieved to let go of any type of perfection towards it. It has broadened my view where I am able to do the little things, like for example decreasing my meat consumption.
The un-goals have found an inverse manifestation. Now you’ve got a clear view on what you don’t want (that much) and given that a physical home, it gives more focus to the goals that matter.
Feeling like you’ve taken on too much? Give it a try. I felt so relieved afterwards it instantly gave me a motivational kick. Now I am curious to know what your un-goals are! Drop them in the comments below.