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I Just Couldn’t Do It

My husband took this with his camera (he switched to an iphone) last weekend on a walk we took with friends.

Back a few months ago on January 2 I posted about having no goals for this year.  I had read a bunch about the concept and it sounded good.  It sounded like it really simplified life, and my ‘goal’ is simple minimalist living in all areas of my life.

The truth is, I just couldn’t do it.

I think goals are a dangerous thing.  Sometimes I feel like I can’t live with them and I can’t live without them.  Goals can be a part of my life that pushes, gives guilt, threatens failure.  I don’t want that.  I also don’t want lots of goals and to spend hours evaluating and measuring them.  I hated all the goal talk in the corporate business world.  So the idea of just having a fluid self-motivated life sounded much better.

But all my self-motivating creates goals.  I have had the goal to release this book for months on March 21.  Sure, I could release it whenever it was done, but I just loved the date of 3-21 to go along with the title.  To be honest, the date goal has helped a lot.  I finished writing the book early in January and I would have been tempted to try and release it then.  Instead I have spent the last 2+ months going through several editors and talking to lots of people to make sure that it can be the best book possible and that it can be (hopefully) released properly.

We have family goals of wanting to travel with the kids.   Without that goal and working toward it, it will never happen.  Traveling overseas as a family just isn’t something we can decide and do over a weekend.

So, how do I live in the present with goals as a positive motivator in my life?

This isn’t rhetorical, I am still trying to answer this. I still really want to live in the present.  I want to direct most of my goals to the present instead of something far off.  Goals, habits, personal mission statements, all of these are very related, and might all be the same thing looked at from different angles.  Who I want to be right now is what I want to be my primary focus.  Where I want to be in the future, is secondary.  Here is my current list of goals:

Present goals

  1. Strengthen my relationship with God
  2. Be a patient and supportive parent and teacher to my kids
  3. Keep learning and growing in my life by reading and thinking
  4. Growing in my writing abilities so I can communicate better on my blog
  5. Start exercising and continue to focus on healthy eating

Long range

  1. Save money for future travel
  2. Work on a second book

I don’t know that I am ready to have any of my goals measurable or date specific.  that part I am more than happy to leave out. I am working toward something – sometimes walking, sometimes running – but always clear on the destination.  I want my present goals to always be able to trump and be priority over my future goals.  I want my living focused on today instead of in the future.

What do you think?  Do goals help or weigh you down?  How do you see them fitting into a simple life?

321 Stop Book Update:

More reviews coming in everyday, here is another sample:

“You know how sometimes when you read something, it’s like you have the author sat next to you with a hot cuppa tea, whispering her secrets into your ear? Well 3-2-1 Stop was like that for me. And then rather than racing through it from one chapter to the next, I was surprised to find myself stopping along the way to actually put stuff into action. A rare feat for a serial book worm like me! And this is probably the best testament I can give Lori … reading this book will make stuff happen!” — El

14 Days till release, 2 weeks from today!

12 Comments

  1. I couldn’t image a life without goals. Goals are what motivate me and keep me sane when I’m having a bad day.
    Yes, it is important to seize the day and not to be obsessed with your goals. But it is the type of goals you have not goals themselves that are bad.
    If you only want to get rich to fill your life with material objects, you are probably going to end up pretty rich money wise and poor in spirit.
    Your goals seem pretty right on… so go easy on yourself. Planning for the future is always important, especially when you have children to care for too.

    • Thanks! I just couldn’t see life without goals too. I just have trouble sometimes focusing more on the future with the goals even when they are good. … and I over think things all the time… can you tell 😉

      • Your over thinking make for good commentary. Don’t sweat it. Too few people think at all.

        • true. Thanks!

  2. I never got the Minimalist “no goals” thing. Goals are what drive us to be better and become what we truly want to be. It is just a form if measuring out success. So keep on making goals! You are such a good example! I wanna write a book too, a ya fantasy book, and you have inspired me to push myself further. I’m still in the process of writing a rough draft but it is out in the open for all to see. I have a story blog as well. I still have another two chapters that are done but not posted, yet I’m not even half way done. Nothing is edited!! But I’d love for you to check it out-even with all the errors it has-

    http://onceuponatimestories.blog.com

    • yay! Go for the book. It is amazing to me how much help is out there for doing books now. I will come by and take a look 🙂

  3. It’s funny because I now often compare minimalism to religions, and it’s funny how so many just follow these tenets without giving it much thought. When I heard of the “no goals” thing, I thought about it a lot. And for me, I realized I AM still a minimalist and CAN have goals. Goals are essential to my being. When I don’t have goals, I wander too much. I have ADHD, so without structure, I fail. As simple as that. From what I see in a lot of minimalist circles is that they are headed more towards Buddhist/Taoist philosophies. In reality, minimalism can work into any life. I’m glad you found what worked for you and didn’t just follow the minimalist herd!

    • Megyn, Thanks 🙂 Yeah, I think so much of it is in the definition sometimes. When I first heard it I thought about it for several weeks and lots of it did sound good. I love how blogging is a way to think things through and a way to process through the keyboard.

  4. Netta Netta

    Lorilee I am really enjoying reading your blog it has inspired me to clear out of my life a lot of stuff that was just taking up space and stressing me out. As far as goals are conserned I’m such a flamatic they aren’t my strong suit especially long term one lol

    • So glad you are enjoying it!

  5. I also like the idea of not having goals. I’ve read some stuff written by people without goals and it seems very freeing. I particularly like the idea of saving time by not having to manage and track every goal and every little step.

    This post was timely for me because I also have recently been thinking about trying to live without goals, but have realized that I can’t do so either. From the goal-free people, I’ve been reminded that goals shouldn’t be the goal itself, and that obsession with goals can be a waste of time. At the same time, I think a VISION of the future is helpful to give us something to strive toward. I like the idea of being presently focused on the next step in the ladder to get closer to the larger vision of where I want to be in my life. Great post!

    • So glad you liked it! Thanks for your comment. Something to strive toward is often what makes life fun to live 🙂

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