Setting Goals vs. Living In The Moment

GOALS vs ENJOYING EVERY MOMENT Personally I really like goals, I like them so much I set them for most everything. Sometimes laid out all nice like on a piece of paper making them pretty official and something I feel like I really need to cross off at some point. Or sometimes my goals are just in my head (but much less crazy sounding), but those are usually the kind that quietly poke at my brain till I reach achievement level status.

Goals are great, they keep me on track and it’s a good way to turn dreams into something much more tangible. Want to own your own business? Hey let’s set some goals to get you there. Goals are stepping-stones and they make the big picture (whatever it may be) much more attainable.

Okay, now this is probably not gonna make much sense at all, but keep in mind I’m a walking contradiction so to me it’s clear as day.
As good as goals are, they can sometimes be a bit stifling. The thing is as soon as you reach one goal, another one pops right up and pop, pop, pop for pretty much ever. Enjoying that moment of finally reaching a goal is short-lived because you jump right on to the next goal. Just sitting down and enjoying the moment and the journey can often get a little lost when all you see is goals, goals, goals (similar to Destiny’s Child bills, bills, bills circa 1999).

So this is where I might get a bit confusing. The other day (well, a couple of months ago now) as I was laying in savasana, all sweaty and yoga blissed after practice, I tried to think back on goals I had set for my yoga practice. To you know, see if I had reached them. Was there a pose I really wanted to learn, or a class level I wanted to be able to attend? And shockingly I had none, like none at all! My only goal was to just practice and practice safely. Somehow this (me) over planner, over thinker and chronic goal setter failed to set goals for this huge part of my life. And I have to say, to not have a plan (accidentally even) for something so gigantically important in my life was/is totally liberating and eye-opening. The thought made me smile and then I thought about how much I just enjoying being there and how I probably had reached so many “goals” but instead just enjoyed every tiny moment along the way and the rest didn’t matter one bit.

To jump ahead to my point, basically I realized goals aren’t everything (even though they are awesome and helpful). They have a place, but they don’t belong in everything. Since then, I have a pretty severe love hate relationship with goals. I love them and they are still so helpful for me but they can be a little life sucking when overused, and now I really try to keep that in mind for future everythings—maybe I’ll set a goal for that?

So I have a crazy idea for you: If you are a huge goal setter, try to choose one thing where you don’t set any goals and you ‘just do it’ (IT or it, however you want to read into that) and enjoy the moment, the journey.
If you aren’t really a goal setter, try choosing one thing in your life and set some goals, enjoy the small steps and the tiny gold stars along the way.

One is not better than the other, clearly. But it’s always fun to try something different then you’re used too. What do you think? Are you a huge goal setter or do you tend to love to watch things unfold on their own?


  1. says

    Really good insight here! I tend to get scared of goals, so I am on the side of needing to set some serious goals for myself. I totally can see how not giving yourself a chance to just enjoy your accomplishments could get real stifling real quick! Thanks for sharing.


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