I’m not very good at setting goals.
I usually either take action immediately and accomplish them within days, or I lose sight of them and forget all about them.
I often feel bad about myself when I set goals. Bad when I miss those goals. And even worse when I get them to realize they never accomplished what I wanted.
It feeds into those old visionary stories that I’ll never figure it out. That I’m “not good enough.” That I’ll never be satisfied. Or it will never work for me.
And, honestly, my life moves so quickly that goals seem to get outdated soon after I make them. What I thought I wanted or was working toward may not be the thing I want anymore.
And it’s confusing—and aimless—to keep shifting the focus. Because then the only goals that really stick are money-related goals. And those are just about the most shame-inducing goals out there.
If I’m thinking about money first and foremost, it’s probably out of fear. And I’m probably shutting down all of the things that would actually fulfill me.
It’s tough this time of year—as everyone plans their goals for the year. Because we can feel all this pressure to set goals. To artificially bolster our confidence that finally this year will be different. We’ll somehow transform our lives this year.
And then we’ll work our asses off for a few months. Only to be bored with the goal. Or forget about it. Or, worst of all, shame ourselves for not achieving it.
I’m a visionary. I don’t believe in goals. But I do believe in visions.
Tomorrow morning, I leave for Aruba. I go to Aruba every New Year’s.
A place I’ve gone to every year since I was 15 months old. A place that connects me to my entire family, including my psychic grandmother who believed my words would change the world. A place where I married the love of my life.
And something about the calm breeze and gentle waves re-centers me. It reminds me of what’s important. And it gives me the chance to re-connect with my vision.
For me, goals are fleeting. They’re temporary and achievable or not achievable. I can fail them. And that just reiterates shame for me. Another thing wrong in a life where I’m always wrong.
But a vision is something I’m constantly creating. In every moment of my life. Sure, I might lose a few battles, but it’s the war I’m really after.
Goals are the battles, but our vision is the war. And a good general can’t lose sight of what they’re really after just because there are setbacks.
A good general has conviction. A clear vision. Even when the goals change. Even when things aren’t going as planned. Even when morale is getting low.
A good general believes in their vision so strongly that every soldier is inspired by that belief. Because it’s the vision that matters, not individual goals.
I’ve spent so much time in my life hung up on the goals. Shaming and blaming myself when the goals changed or failed. Oftentimes so distraught that I lost sight of the overarching vision.
But there are a million paths to a vision. And, if one doesn’t work out, awesome, that’s intel. Re-center and move on to a new path.
Because the vision is so real. It’s so right. And nothing can stop us from pursuing our genius.
Sure, we might need to grieve the lost goals. (Believe me, I have plenty.) But then we have to decide if we have the conviction to carry on.
We have to decide if our love for our vision is stronger than our fear.
Choosing our vision is about choosing love. Every single time. Even when it’s hard to choose love. Even when it’s terrifying. Even when we feel like we’ll lose everything.
In my experience, those are the moments when we gain everything. Because we’re committing to ourselves. We’re not willing to settle after one little setback.
We’re saying we love this world too much to deprive it of our vision. We love ourselves too much to not show up as all of ourselves.
So, it’s this time of year that I don’t like to think about goals. I like to think about visions. My vision. What I really, really care about. The world that I want to build. And how I can do that in big and small ways every day.
If my vision is to help visionaries re-connect with their unique genius, then I can commit to that in just about every area of my life. I can take artists out for coffee every week. I can write every weekday. I can run programs. And, if ever those don’t work out as planned, I can create new programs. Or new writing. Or join new communities.
Because I’m committed to my vision.
I’ve lived a life that was externally successful but vision-less before. And it’s great—except it wasn’t my life. It could never fulfill me.
Because our vision is who we really are. Our soul. The tenderest part of our being.
So, tomorrow—and all of next week—I’ll be off, re-connecting with my vision. Remembering why I do this—all of this.
In my work, in my marriage, in my friendships, with my dogs.
Because my vision permeates every aspect of my life. My vision is the genius, the magic, the energy medicine that powers all of my life.
What’s your vision? And how do you connect with it over and over again—even (and especially) when things go awry?
Questions for Reflection:
*Answer in a journal, in the comments right here, or take it over to the Sacred Branding® Facebook group where we can support one another:
Do you struggle to follow through with goals, too?
— Have you ever felt like this year is going to be different and created all of these goals, only to feel shame that you didn’t accomplish everything you set out to do?
— Have you let “failure” to accomplish a certain goal reiterate your story that you’re “not good enough” or “it will never work”?
— What if goals will evolve, but your vision is what truly matters? What if all you need to do is continuously re-connect with your vision throughout the year?