In the beginning of the year I received an email newsletter from Debbis Morris regarding goal setting.  This was perfect timing as I was in the process of coming up with my goals for 2011, but the content of the newsletter was different than I had expected. I’ve attached the article from the newsletter, see below:

Consider Giving Up Goals
Sue Rasmussen

“Living without goals definitely takes courage.

When I first heard the concept of living without goals over 10 years ago, I actually got upset.  And to top it off, I heard it from one of my highly respected mentors, Thomas Leonard…so I was even a little bit more upset.

I thought, ‘that’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard – what would I ever get done if I didn’t have a plan and goals?!?’ and went right back to setting goals and working hard to achieve them.

But the idea stuck with me, mainly because it felt so radical.  And after a decade of flirting with the idea, I have spent the last couple of years deeply exploring what it’s like to live without external goals and follow my inner guidance instead – and still get things done.

And here’s what I’m learning: I find that I often get much MORE done when I don’t set goals than when I do. And I’m spending time doing what I love, which is a huge reward in itself.

According to Stephen Shapiro, author of Goal-Free Living, there are 8 secrets to living life free from the constant pressure of goals:

* Use a compass, not a map – have a sense of direction, and then let yourself wander and try new things on the way to fulfilling your aspirations

* Trust that you are never lost – every seemingly wrong turn is an opportunity to learn and experience new things

* Remember that opportunity knocks often, but sometimes softly – while blindly pursuing our goals, we often miss unexpected and wonderful possibilities

* Want what you have – measure your life by your own yardstick and appreciate who you are, what you do, and what you have . . . now

* Seek out adventure – treat your life like the one-time-only journey it is and revel in new and different experiences

* Become a people magnet – constantly seek, build, and nurture relationships with new people so that you always have the support and camaraderie of others

* Embrace your limits – transform your inadequacies and boundaries into unique qualities you can use to your advantage

* Remain detached – focus on the present, act with a commitment to the future, and avoid worrying about how things will turn out

So if the idea of putting together another one-year, five-year, or ten-year plan fills you with frustration, consider the idea of letting go of goals as a way of life.  And play with the idea of following your guidance all day long, each and every day.

You may be surprised at the wonderful opportunities that unfold.”

I think my favorite of the 8 points above is “use a compass, not a map”.  I do have written goals, and I update, tweak, and revise them each year.  I do believe in the saying, “how do you get where you’re going if you don’t know where it is”,  but I’ve never been a big believer in writing down my Top 100 goals….my “Bucket List”.  I enjoy my everyday life.  I’ve never been compelled to have that type of list or be rigidly focused on goals.

My daily goal is simple or you might say “cliche”…I want it to be a good day.  And by good day I mean, I want my kids to go to school well-fed and in a happy mood; I want to look forward to going to work; I want to learn something that makes me a better person; I want to make a difference in someone’s life whether it’s one of my teammates, a client, or the grocery line clerk; then, I want to pick my kids up from school with energy to give to them; fix a nice dinner; and spend some quality time with Oliver.  That to me is a “good day”.

So, I guess my theory on goal-setting is to have goals but not to become too attached to them.  Be flexible so you can adapt to present moment opportunities.  Don’t develop tunnel-vision so you miss out on things that might be even better.

Goals are important…we all enjoy marking things off our checklists and most of us work better with deadlines.  The Law of Attraction states that what you focus on expands, and I do believe that.  I just don’t want to be so focused on my goals that I miss the small important moments of life!

Debbie Morris is the owner of Morris Group Realty which is a full service realty group located in the Glendale area of Indianapolis.  Debbie sends out a weekly email discussing a wide variety of topics.  You can sign up for the newsletter by contacting Morris Group at www.homeinfoindianapolis.com.