It’s that time of the year again, when the achievements of the year gone by are weighed and new goals for the coming year are pondered upon.
Resolutions: the yearly to-do list of new habits and new lifestyles. Come 2nd week of January, however, our resolute feet begin to stumble and wander. This could be because of the lack of a strong Will or a blunt edged Focus (that is a discussion for another day, stay tuned for more on that).
Today, we’re pursuing another line of thought: have you stopped to think that your inability to sustain a goal stems from the fact that your plate is too full?
Multiple goals killing you?
Feel like you’re not doing enough? That there’s more to life and you want to it all? Wish work flourishes, health thrives and relationships are nurtured, all at once? Without realizing, we often take on a lot more than we can handle. We set out to pursue too many goals, dividing our attention and our time, possibly resulting in mediocre outcomes. And in case we aren’t out there trying to do it all, we’re busy sulking and regretting the fact that we aren’t doing enough. What happens in the process is that we either move on in guilt — unable to feel true joy — or we scamper about to fulfil the tasks at hand.
Many a times the load of too many goals bears us down, and we reluctantly give up on them. The lingering aspiration towards them, however, still haunts us and we tend to carry that guilt over to other activities. It accompanies us when we’re fulfilling responsibilities and often, to bed. What happens then is that neither do we let it rest, nor do we take it to its logical conclusion. Thus, we end up spending more time mourning the loss of a goal then we do pursuing the one that is a priority.
Fear of Missing Out
Look around the world, or better still through the vistas of your screen and you’ll find yourself exposed to numerous opportunities that others are pursuing, ones that seem to be enhancing their lives. This could be across the paradigms of health, academics, wealth or personal aspirations. Experience an irresistible urge to adopt these changes/goals in your life too? If they’re doing it, then why mustn’t you? From everything that you’ve set out to achieve, how many of those goals are ones that you want to pursue solely because you truly want to? Governed by our need to fit in, the fear of missing out on these enticing propositions makes us add more to our plates. Being present at a music concert or the experience of watching a meteor shower may not be a priority, or fit in to the schedule, but we’d give it a go only because we feel like we can’t afford to miss out. We end up spending more time in inaction than in action.
Get in action
Let’s reverse the trend. Don’t let catchphrases like FOMO and YOLO decide the trajectory of your life, instead of being distracted with watching others fulfil their dreams, begin chasing your own.
First find a dream that is truly yours, not a passing fad from this year’s movie releases, not the product of Keeping Up with the Joneses, and, definitely not one reluctantly accepted due to external pressure. Find a goal that is truly yours in every sense of the way. Simply speaking, it must align with your sensibilities, your likes and dislikes, and most importantly, it should awaken a passion that will not quieten till it is achieved. There needs to be a shift in focus from the wider horizons of the world to the sole purpose that we each have, true to our abilities and realities. Let’s inculcate the joy of missing out, by solely focusing on what we want to do without dispersing our attention and energies on what people around us are doing.
Find the right goal: Balance all aspects of the Pursuit.
Figure out the activities that the goal will entail. For instance, want to stay healthy? For this you might want to eat right, exercise and meditate. Begin by adding a single activity to your day: a cup of green tea as your day begins. Pack lunch for your day, along with healthy alternatives for snacking. Spare 15 minutes to meditate at the end of the day and you’ll find yourself more attuned with your body. Eventually, you can add 30 minutes of physical exercise — a walk, a run or cycling — and you’ll find yourself a pace and rhythm wherein you’re mindful and diligent of your activities towards your health. Similarly, as you begin to master one skill or prerequisite towards any chosen goal, you can subsequently add and nourish your day with more activities towards it. The key is finding the right balance and focusing on your task at hand.
Resolve to find one path, and follow through. All goals worth their value add value to your life and not take away from it. Find that goal to Make You Happen.
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Originally published at medium.com