I loathe reading work or leadership related books. I don’t truly know why – I think it’s because it feels very arrogant and gimmicky. It reminds me of my very religious days growing up. We humans love to tell other humans what to do. Anyway, this is not the point of this post.

This book I’m reading right now keeps talking about the things that stand in the way of people reaching their goals. It’s throwing out the very classic pop psychology principles, talking about the neocortex, basic evolutionary events, blah blah. Midway through rolling my eyes, it struck me that I don’t have goals. I want to say I used to. I know I was extremely driven to graduate from UNC (did it in 3 years) and very much wanted a degree in psychology. I had goals around my GPA. I had goals related to rugby. When it came time to graduation, I had the dream of working for Automattic. I didn’t think I’d get the job and now three years later here we are.

I don’t know what my goals are now. There’s part of me that wants to list goals around traveling to different countries but that frankly isn’t a goal for me. It’s something I want to do but I wouldn’t feel devastated or like I failed if I didn’t.

I could say owning a tiny home as a goal but I’m such a minimalist that I think I more just like the idea of living super simply. In many ways, I already feel like I am living this way in a small 1 bedroom apartment with barely anything occupying the space there.

I’ve had goals before around fitness – squatting a certain weight, doing a certain number of pull-ups. As I’ve reached those, there’s not a sense of resounding accomplishment. I have been an athlete for too long to get super jazzed up about some of it – especially when I know there are others doing way more I could fathom.

I guess I could say I have two goals right now: open source a D&I manual for remote companies (work – not even my main job) & write a book about traditional surrogacy (personal). I would feel a tiny bit like a failure for not writing about either of those and working on them. I think it’s because I feel uniquely qualified to offer something there.

Otherwise, I don’t have goals around money, appearance, travels, career etc. Part of it is that I feel I have what I want. I have strong community and deep friendships. I have a fantastic job. I have a grand education. My body is healthy and I’m able to do so much with it. I am living wholly my life. I don’t know what “goals” I would desire otherwise. I don’t have a strong desire for power or influence – I have a strong desire to make an impact. I think you can do that every day though and I don’t necessarily believe that large impact means more impact.

I think most would find it surprising I don’t have goals – I seem very goal driven. I’m more values driven. Am I living authentically? Am I giving my best? Am I making a difference? Am I learning and growing? Am I embracing the truth? Those aren’t goals you can check off. They are intangibles that are often more about small actions than about big goals.

I just googled goal setting and found this site. None of it resonated with me. I’m not sure what this all means 🙂

Food for thought for 2018 I guess.

Photo by Christian Bardenhorst on Unsplash


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