Who Needs Goals?

It's that time of year. The time when we get to begin anew. Forget January 1st as the kick-off day for goals and resolutions. I've always been a December girl when it comes to starting over. My usual pattern is that I'm admirably disciplined the first 3-4 months of the year, a little less during the summer, and by late fall I can be found vegetating on the couch watching back-to-back marathon episodes of "Chopped." Right now I'm so sick of my sloth-like behavior I can barely stand myself. It's time for a change. 

I read a blog post the other day about achieving without goals. I'm intrigued. I want 2012 to be a year of purpose but I like the author's premise that goals won't necessarily get you there:

"You don’t need goals to tell you what to do. You know what to do. You’re excited about doing it already — you just need to focus, and get to it. 

 Goals keep you focused on something in the future, instead of being present and enjoying what you’re doing right now. Goals keep you fixed on one path, which might not be the best path in a week or a month or a year. They keep you fixated on one thing, rather than being open to new opportunities, being flexible as the landscape changes, being free to pursue something you’re newly passionate about rather than sticking to something you’re tired of."

The thought of spending my days pursuing my passions is ever-so-more intriguing than working my way through a checklist of mini sub-goals and timelines. 

Here's a simple example. Blair and I are spending the next couple of days cleaning closets out around the house. Sounds like a horrible must-do task, right? Wrong! We love it. We are ruthless as we pick through what stays and what goes and everything gets a nice new home on a freshly dusted shelf. Makes me happy just to think about it.

And that's the point. We (and yes, Blair's psyched about it too) are looking forward to it because--sad as it may be--we have a passion for that sort of culling out of old things and bringing order to our home. But I can almost guarantee that if I had made a checklist of "things we need to get done over the holidays" and put "clean closets" on the list, we'd be dragging our feet. How you approach a task is important. 

I'm going to try to carry that into 2012. I'm sure I'll never fully give up my beloved checklists but I do want to work on being more excited and focused on whatever it is that's in front of me at any given time, whether that's writing, reading, running, petting a cat, spending time with Blair and friends, cooking, etc. 

So in 2012 I want to live life with intent and passion. (But shhh... just don't call it a goal.)