Remember last year’s New Year’s resolution? Be honest with yourself: how many times did you actually go to the gym? And donuts! — can you recall the number of donuts you spared from entering the bottomless void otherwise known as your oral cavity *ugh, who knew the human mouth could sound so icky?*
Minimalism is about getting shit done, not creating unrealistic expectations. Setting goals is the best way to create road blocks for yourself down the road. At least in our experience. Sure, little goals can occasionally help propel you to reach larger ones, a.k.a. the snowball effect, but ultimately goals are a way of (1) telling yourself what you don’t have now, (2) reminding you what you want later, and (3) reinforcing all the labor you need to do in order to get there.
Instead of being goal driven, we should be directionally driven.
Okay, but what does “directionally driven” mean? “Directionally” isn’t even a word in the English language, and yet this collective consciousness of bloggers wants me to align my life with it, tis madness! Maybe we should start by looking at some goals and restructuring them in a directional paradigm.
Common goals people make:
- I need to lose weight. Rephrased directionally as: I want to improve my health.
- I need to go to the gym. –> I want to cultivate better fitness habits.
- I need to declutter my life. –> I want more space to focus.
- I need to write 5,000 words per day. –> I want to be a writer.
- I need to make more money. –> I want to be financially responsible.
- I need to spend more time with family. –> I want to be more conversationally available to people.
These are some of the ways we can approach common goals and redefine them in terms of a direction for our lives. This removes the obstacle-factor associated with pursuing an outcome and replaces it with a passion for the journey itself.
Goals are keeping you from achieving the things you want to achieve. Instead of motivating us to accomplish our dreams, goals often stifle the flicker of hope before it has the chance to grow into a self-sustaining flame. We get so wrapped up in the steps. The method. The process. It becomes so damn scientific; we get overly invested in the road map and fail to see the road.
With that being said, being directionally driven is not an excuse to be lazy.
On the contrary, with this method you still need to clearly define the things you’re pursuing. For example, if you’re direction is to be successful, it’s dangerous to say: “I want to be successful.” Instead you need to clearly identify what success means for you. Is success monetary advancement? Starting your own business? Learning to speak a new language? Specificity is key here.
We challenge you to take one of your goals — just one to start with, test the waters — and reframe it in terms of a direction. Point the arrow and dive in, feet first. See how much closer you get. How much more enjoyable the journey is when you’re no longer setting yourself up for failure.