Probably you have been defining some goals for the New Year. And you might have some mixed feeling about them. On the one hand they can excite you, give you some direction, something to hold on to in this life full of possibilities. On the other hand you know that they can spoil the whole journey. You might get disappointed by not reaching them (well enough) or they make you blind for unexpected opportunities along the way.
You consciously define goals for yourself; double your profit, triple the number of visitors on your site or start a new business in New York. And as a consequence these goals can dominate your mood and how you evaluate your own life.
From euphoric feelings when reaching them:
“Yes! extra visitors on my site, what a hero I am, I’m able to reach my self-defined goals, I’m in control of my life, there nothing I can’t do, poor other people out there, dwelling in their misery”.
To a feeling of defeat a week later:
“&*#, no visitors at all?? What a crappy person I am, I can’t even do this crappy simple thing, I’m lost and at mercy of the quirk of fate!”
Or your new business in New York. You imagined it so beautifully, talked about it with friends and got fired up by inspiring stories of others. But after taking the first steps you find out that the move is actually an awfully time-consuming hassle.
And you start to get stressed. What if this self-created image of my future, won’t happen…
This goal setting is as crazy as painting a burglar on your window and then calling the police in panic that they have to come and rescue you.
It’s actually not that big a difference. Pay some attention to your thoughts when worrying…it’s often because you ‘painted’ an imaginary image in your head about your (future) life, and find out that reality is different.
What to do then? Should you throw your plans, ideas and goals for the New Year in the garbage bin and just go with the flow as an amoeba… ?
No. But you can better spend your time and energy on the things you actually have influence on; the right actions, and not the fruit of your actions.
This isn’t my imagination going crazy, it sprang from the great mind of Ghandi, he said it like this
“It’s the action, not the fruit of the action, that’s important. You have to do the right thing. It may not be in your power, may not be in your time, that there’ll be any fruit. But that doesn’t mean you stop doing the right thing. You may never know what results come from your action.”
This means you don’t stress about getting imaginary fruits, like tripling the amount of visitors on your site. But you start to take the right action. For example to connect more with your clients and create valuable content for them to share via your website. Maybe at first you have less visitors, but might find out that you attract surprisingly more loyal clients you love working with.
What are the right actions for you? If you already have some goals for the coming year you can use them to come to these right actions. The simplest thing you can do now is asking yourself the following questions:
What will reaching this goal bring you?
What does this say about what you truly intent?
What actions are expressions of this intention?
Then let go of any preference regarding the results of these actions. Just be curious what it will bring.
You might get surprised by something better you’d ever be able to paint yourself.