As we approach a new year it’s useful to look back at what we've achieved in the previous 12 months, and take a moment to reset our priorities for the year to come. It is, however, that bit harder to radiate positivity and drum up a year’s worth of aspirations when you’ve just been slapped in the face by both 2020 and 2021. Dreams of adventures and developing our careers soon became lockdowns and imminent economic disaster. Most of us struggled to make it through the day without a little cry, let alone finding time to write that novel we absolutely thought was achievable in 365 days.
Life over the past 24 months has been anything but ordinary, so why would we want to approach 2022 in the same structured way we've done in the past? Principles like the Law of Attraction encourage us to be specific, to consider every minutiae detail of what we want when we place our order with the universe. But in a world of restrictions and constant uncertainty, does that all feel a bit deluded? Is it time to challenge the traditional approach of goal setting if we’ve any hope of feeling good about ourselves by the 31st of December?
Don't get me wrong, having goals and ambitious are important, they give direction and help us to build the disciplines we need to succeed. But they can also be limiting. Being fixed to one outcome has the potential to close us off to other opportunities that may not ‘fit the mould’, or can leave us feeling like a failure if we haven’t achieved them in the time frame we've imposed on ourselves. If I’ve learnt anything from the pandemic (other than the optimal way to wash my hands) it’s that I need to come at life with more flexibly, be willing to adapt, pivot, or even start over if things don’t quite go to plan. That it’s ok to be stuck or feel a bit clueless at moment, but that there is always hope and a way to find joy.
So this year, I’ve decided I'm not setting any goals for myself. Instead, I’ll be curating my 2022 journey through a lens of desired values or themes. Changing a specific goal like 'I want to travel more' to a value of 'adventure' or 'freedom' opens up the opportunity to feel that way each day, rather than just when booking a flight. It means there's no failure at the end of the year, no frustration if things don't go to plan. It allows the flexibility to explore more, to enjoy whatever we have without judgment or comparison. I can't promise that 2022 will be the best-year-yet, but I'm hoping a more relaxed approach to the year might just be what the doctor ordered.