I've been thinking about it all wrong
Goal setting is amazing, but I think we should stop calling it ‘Goal Setting’. Goal setting is only part of the process, but it’s not just about setting a goal. It’s about setting an ACTION. Setting a goal is the first part – setting a possible commitment is the most crucial part. We should really be calling it “commitment setting.”
I shouldn’t only be saying “I have a goal to reach 100 push ups” – I should be saying something like, “I have a commitment to train push ups everyday.” Because in truth, I don’t care about 100 push ups. It’s not about the number, it’s about the action.
Here’s the thing: It’s not about setting end-goals. It’s not about attaining something. (Reach 100 push ups, complete a marathon, achieve xyz…) It’s about the dedication of doing the thing. A daily practice. A weekly practice. A practice. An act. A present moment experience. It’s about cultivating the practice of an action, not achieving an end goal.
(Is it okay to say my mind is being blown as I’m writing this?!).
That way, we are growing, and yet we are content – as every single moment we practice is a moment of success. There is nowhere to go, nowhere to get to. The goal is just a container for the practice to occur.
What does this look like in action? My 365 day meditation goal is a great example. Yes – it has an end-goal. But I’m not doing it to reach day 365 and check it off my list. I’m doing it to cultivate the practice of mediation. And so each and every day practice, I succeed. Once I reach the finish line, I don’t wish to stop. I want to continue this practice.
So, should we not set goals at all? I think we should still set goals. Goal setting can give helpful instructions and direction. However, I think action setting (or commitment setting or practice setting, whatever you’d like to call it) is a crucial part of it, if we are to develop and grow.