I think a lot about goals because I think you’ve just got to have some. For me, they’re a way to keep going when things aren’t going real well, and they help me focus on getting somewhere when life is pulling me in so many different directions that I don’t feel like I’m ever going to get anywhere at all.
If I have something to aim for, I won’t get distracted from what’s important and don’t end up just spinning my wheels through another day.
A couple of years ago, I made my first-ever goal list. Walk the Camino de Santiago. Open a yoga studio. Get backstage at Coachella. There were like 10 or 12 things on the list, and I stuck it on my fridge with my big “M” magnet so I’d see it every day.
And every day I did, and every day I felt a little more disappointed in myself. Because I wasn’t any closer to Coachella or Spain, or anything else. It was pretty depressing. What was supposed to be fun and motivational turned into a weight that wasn’t lifting me up but was dragging me down.
Then one day I finally saw my list for what it really was—stuff I was only ever going do once in a long while—if I’m lucky. I hadn’t made a list of goals. I’d made a bucket list, and there’s a big difference.
Now I have a new list on my fridge. But these goals I can meet without maxxing out my credit card or quitting my job. Read a chapter in a good book. Spend time with a friend. Walk half an hour a day. Help someone who needs it. Stuff I can actually do. Stuff that adds up every day to accomplishing something real. It’s about keeping it simple and realizing that I don’t need to shoot for the moon to have a great life. I just need to fill my days with good things. That’s the real goal. And having a list that fits who I really am and what I can actually do makes sure I meet it.