This time of year drives me mad when my inbox starts to flood with marketing emails and blogs about new year resolutions and how and why I should be setting goals for 2019.
You might be reading this and thinking that this is something I would advocate!. And while I would agree with you that setting goals is a helpful activity (although I would add you don’t need to wait until January to start setting goals or resolutions!), I have learned that too much emphasis can be placed on trying to reach a certain goal or place in your life and that can get in the way of you loving your life.
I am sure you have heard the phrase ‘it’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey’.
In my younger (and less wiser!) days I would have said bollocks to that, just give me the promotion, the man, the dream home, the high salary and complete capsule wardrobe!
In my older and hopefully more wiser days, I have reached the place where I actually get what ‘enjoying the journey’ means.
I look back over journals of the last 10 or so years of my life and;
a) pray no-one finds them;
b) am convinced I have a sequel to Bridget Jones in the making if only I could find the time to write a book;
c) recognise where I have short changed myself in trying to ‘make things happen’ too quickly and;
d) realise how so much of the magic of my life was in the unfolding of it.
For instance when I re read the chapters of my life relating to my first year as a self employed therapist I think WOW! I was like a child in a toy store. Full of wonder and delight about learning how to run a business. I gave myself WAY more credit for things I was achieving and took so much more pleasure in seeing my business come together. I didn’t care that I didn’t have X, Y or Z in place because I was enjoying the journey so much – and I wasn’t as focused on the goal.
I still got to where I was going without obsessing about the goal and making that my raison d’etra.
How the way you live your life affects how you love your life
Fast forward 7 years and and I have unwittingly allowed myself at times to get sucked into the pressure of what my business ‘should’ look like, how much posting on social media I ‘should’ be doing, how I ‘should’ have found my niche and have specialised and giving myself a hard time if I haven’t achieved the goals I set.
That way of being had clouded my ability to love my life the way it was because I had become too swept up in focusing on the destination instead of revelling in the journey.
I see the journey as being akin to the honeymoon period. You love the honeymoon period of a relationship because it’s full of anticipation, excitement, surprise, delight, shivers down the spine, being in the moment, soaking up every delicious second of every moment together. You don’t want it to end.
How to love your life
Ask an author, painter or architect what they enjoy most about creating their masterpieces and they will tell you that it’s about the unfolding, the pleasure, experiencing what each day brings and not simply about getting to the finish.
Where in your own life have you got too caught up in trying to achieve something or reach a destination in your life that you have forgotten to experience the joy of getting there?
Have you found yourself focusing too much on ‘I’ll be happy when….’?
Or perhaps, like me, you have been so intent on making things happen that you have short changed yourself on the honeymoon feeling.
So as you move into 2019, a new year and a new energy, do I encourage setting goals and having a vision for the future? Of course…but remember how you live your life affects how you love your life, so enjoy the magic of making those goals a reality.