Some of us develop a personality that attaches itself to goals, whether personal or professional. There’s something about goal setting, knowing where you’re heading, that gives you drive, purpose, and a sense of achievement when it’s been done. What falls off of our radar, is how to let go of the path we think we need to take in order to be successful.
They say the key to achieving your biggest goals is breaking everything down into smaller steps, that are time bound in order to measure and track your progress- what they don’t tell you in this theory is how to account for the sways in the process. Once something in your life goes wrong, i.e. your schedule shifts due to competing demands it can feel devastating and make you even feel guilty for not staying on track with something. It’s funny how for millennials we are known as the generation to do things the way we want them, yet we stick to rigor and effort much like the previous generations.
If our parents are telling us to be happy, how can life, constantly being thrown at you, actually make you happy along the journey?
Think rebellion. That disruptive movement that hyper alerts you to an issue, problem, challenge, and aligns your thinking and focus on something that really matters to you. I like to think of our distractions and life happenings as the moment for a little rebelling.
Here’s a great example, I run my coaching practice on top of my full-time job, and with a new house and new baby due this Winter, my priorities went from balancing sessions and meetings to a whole new number of planning activities and a body that simply cannot keep up with the physical demands of getting it all done. All of the activities, goals, and milestones I aimed to hit this Fall are basically up in the air.
In many ways, my inner critic is quite unhappy with this – it’s been telling me that things need to go a certain way, and sometimes getting gritty and getting the job done is what’s needed. The voice can get so loud that it creates bubbling frustration, and I need to simply write in order to get ideas out of my head when I can’t execute or do something.
When you have a lot going on in your life, it’s easy to buy into this voice – after all you’re used to achieving, getting what you’ve worked so hard for, and nothing can stop you if you put your mind to it.
What I’ve loved about having all of this happening at the same time is that it’s given me a lot of permission to have fun and disrupt everything in my life for the better.
It feels like a rebellion from the “typical” in my life – the constant good habits, predictable outcomes, and rewards. Now I have a whole new set of challenges and priorities that I need to work through – and choosing to have fun rather than to be overwhelmed.
Choosing to be happy is choosing fun, rebellion, peace, moments, distraction, and giving yourself what you need to feel human. When we give ourselves permission to step away from the original goals, you may find that your new ones are even more important. For me, I’m transitioning into a whole new world of goals, responsibilities, and that requires a lot of mistakes and distractions. I open myself up to these things by inviting the change and choosing to have fun with it – once habits have been disrupted you have the opportunity to have fun, to loosen yourself up to stretch into the next part of your life, no matter how big or small it is.