Just today I happened across a post by Petra Martin about goal-free living and using a compass, not a map. As I reflect on the past year, think about the year ahead, and remember what I love doing — the idea of using a compass and not a map, and having a theme for the next year instead of a set of goals is deliciously appealing.
It’s ironic because I advocate setting goals all the time; but when I do it for myself, I almost never reach them. Goals do leave me dissatisfied with my present (as Stephen Shapiro notes in his book Goal Free Living.) The idea of having a theme, an idea that guides your decisions for the upcoming year, that acts as your compass is simple and achievable.
- What was my theme for last year? It would be stability: in my finances, where I live, building a community, in my new job, and in my health. It’s been a tough year.
- What would be my theme for next year? I’m thinking the word that feels right is flexibility. I want more flexibility in my work, how I work, in my travel schedule, social schedule, in my blogging and in my relationship (okay, that doesn’t quite mean what you might be thinking — I do not envision becoming a swinger.) I’ve been so rigid this past year, so focused in getting it right, and making my personal relationships suffer, now I need to flex. Let’s see where it takes me. I’ll check in again in a few months.