I didn’t write this weekend. It was a Saturday and I wanted a day off. I’d challenged myself to 30 articles in 30 days, I suppose I didn’t say whether that would be 30 consecutive days. There will still be 30 articles.

This got me thinking about being hard on myself and setting goals and how to hold goals.

I’ve often been very goal focused and have been very fixated on achieving certain things by a certain age or creating certain experiences or memories by a certain age.

I wrote this post about a list I created for 30 things I wanted to do before 30.

I got a bit fixated on the list, like I had to rush to do stuff, even if I didn’t really want to do it anymore.

Then one day I stopped being so restrictive and hard on myself. I just changed the title of the list to 30 things I want to do one day and I took out the time pressure.

I then let myself change the list and delete or add stuff when i felt different. When I was 25 I probably wanted to go to Vegas and do X, Y and Z. Now I don’t but I’d love to go Wild Camping in Scotland.

I’ve learned to hold goals lightly. Not hold onto them as something I absolutely must do and berate or flagellate myself for not.

And then of course, notice when I might be avoiding or procrastinating too.

I never set out to write a book, that just happened and now that’s a life goal and something I’ve achieved that I’m incredibly proud of.

And right now I really want to go to secluded spot and scream like a wild animal at the top of my voice. That might change as well.

Goals are things we feel drawn to that we might like to achieve or experience.

Yet for what reason? Because we’d enjoy it? Or because having it as an object or possession would look good?

Would owning a house feel good for me? Or would it take a box that society created for me to tick?

I try and spend more time now reflecting on why I might want to achieve something, is it for my ego, my curiosity or my pleasure. Or many other reasons.

I don’t have a problem with achieving stuff, there’s a lot more I want to do in my life. Yet I have a problem with ego and collecting achievements as status symbols. It’s brittle and obnoxious and creates a culture where we all try and one up each other for what we have or what we have done.

I’d rather us get to a place where we listen to our internal wisdom and follow what we feel drawn to, what we’re excited about or scared of doing. That feels more honest to me and more interesting too.

Does everyone really want a flash car? I imagine only a small amount of people are actually genuinely passionate about expensive cars. Perhaps everyone else is just trying to fit in.

My goals and what I feel drawn to change and I’ll happily drop stuff. 2 years ago I told all my mates I’d do a white collar boxing fight. I got into the ring for sparring the first time and got hit, I didn’t like that and never went back. I simply didn’t enjoy being punched or punching someone else. I respect the sport, it’s not for me though.

Then I took up Rowing, which is a current obsession, for how long? I don’t know. I just went towards it without thinking and I’m enjoying it. I have no problem with dropping out of it when I get bored or it’s not filling me up anymore.

One thing I have to watch for myself is my discipline and my staying power, I get itchy feet fast and can drop out when the going gets tough.

In a world where we’re constantly in touch with other people’s lives and their highlight reels. Where people younger than us are richer and better looking than us, all of the time. I think it’s really important we all have a lighter touch and a more gentle relationship what we might want in our lives, where we follow our own path. Not the path laid out to use by others on social media or in the news.

That’s my goal anyway.


James x