Goals and resolutions and to-do lists, oh my!

Photo by Estée Janssens on Unsplash

Ben loves goals, while I really, honestly don’t. The question is, will we be able to find a way around this and continue in life, love and podcasts? You’ll have to listen to find out!

Like florals to spring are goals and New Year’s resolutions to the end of the year. Today we talk about our recent discovery that Ben is way more goal oriented than I am. Like a lot more. The nature of Ben’s work is project-based, with distinct start and end dates – he’s used to end-points and moving on to the next thing, both professionally and personally. Whether it’s learning a new song on the guitar or painting the front fence, Ben feels like his life is like this, and I definitely feel like mine is not.

I’ll admit that my natural tendency is not to be goal-oriented at all. While I do need structure and to-do lists to tame my “panster” ways, goals actually make me feel claustrophobic. As soon as a goal is down on paper, no matter how SMART it is, I instantly want to rebel against it, a habit that’s potentially formed from years of feeling shame around not finishing things that I’ve started. I do make time for a semi-regularly sit down and big-picture brain dump or epic mind-map making session, but even those will be forgotten about and discovered a year later (often, interestingly, with many of the things having taken place, even without the piece of paper in sight!). Unsurprisingly, I’m also not a fan of New Year’s resolutions, but more about the actions and the doing.

However, both Ben and I agree that one of the downsides of not setting goals is not celebrating success enough. It’s a work in progress for us – actually stopping to take it in, reflect on what we’ve done and celebrate how far we’ve come, and what we’ve achieved. This also ties back to mindfulness for me, because I can see that being more present allows me to really pause and soak in the details of things.

The key takeaway for this week? It’s ok to not be a goal setter, but maybe try being a little more mindful of what it is you’re working towards. And maybe try experimenting with thinking of a couple of short, medium and long-term goals and writing them down in the Notes app in your phone (Ben’s location of choice). Think about something that extends you personally or professionally, or maybe make a mindmap or do a brain dump, and then look at the end game. What is it that you’re working towards? Once it’s time to turn that bullet point into a satisfying tick, take a moment (or a glass of something bubbly) to celebrate your success.

Are you a goal-setter? If so, tell us how you do it, we’d love to hear. Also if anyone really knows what SMART stands for, feel free to get in touch.

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3 Responses to Goals and resolutions and to-do lists, oh my!

  1. Hi!
    I found it extremely funny that I had decided to sit down today and try and organise my goals for next year but instead procrastinated by opening up the App Store to check for a new SH podcast. Once I saw the title I knew I had made the right decision :P I’m very much like Brooke although I aspire to be more goal orientated I’ve also created mind maps only to then ignore them and fulfill what i had wanted in my own time. i’m an avid notes app user, mostly for long message drafts, the odd poem or grocery list.
    Thanks for another great episode!

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