Goal setting can feel so hustle culture, and if we do it incorrectly, it is. However, from a yogic lens, goal setting is fundamental to our practice as long as we are doing it with clear intent and relinquish the grasping of actually achieving them.
WHAT THE WHAT? You want me to set a goal and then let go of not achieving it?? Yes, yes I am..
From the Bhagavad Gita to the Yoga Sutras, goals are foundational to a practice of yoga. The general prescription for them:
Do the work
Let go of the results
The yoga practice in general is asking us to gather our strength, conviction and focus to show up and do the work that has been set out for us, do so in a spirit of service to the divine/ higher good and then let go of the results. The goal is never about achieving (although, sure that can feel good) but more so about the journey. We’re here to pursue the present moment, not the future. If we set goals to only cling to the future, we miss the delicious, messy middle where all our lessons lie. While setting and achieving goals is cool, setting goals knowing you may fail- and going for them anyway, sets us up to go after a life we really want, and often one that is in deep service to the collective.
It’s hard to let go of the results. We’re obsessed with achieving. Our capitalist culture would have you believe that failure is the mark of a loser, but failure is actually the mark of an aspirant- and even failure is a useless terms at times. It’s irrelevant as to the outcome, just set the goal, go for it and enjoy the ride.
Now enjoying the ride… that may not always be true. It’s not always going to feel good. It’s not always going to be easy. We’re here to be challenged, stressed, exhilarated, pissed, in love, angry, etc. The full spectrum of human emotions. When we neglect to set goals, we give ourselves an easy out. We avoid pursuing life and being active in the practice of it. We also miss out on the opportunity to see what we are fully capable of (which, by the way is ENDLESS POSSIBILITY). There is nothing in this world you cannot do, manifest, achieve, exceed, etc. You are endless as the Universe (because you are the Universe… but more of that for another day).
So, how do we set goals? Well, the process can be involved, but here’s a short hand:
- Take an hour out of your day to do this. Sit down with pen and paper and give yourself your full attention.
- Write out a list in three columns :
- column 1- what things you acquired/ bought/ gathered last year
- column 2- what experiences you acquired/ experienced last year
- column 3- what states of being you took on/ maintained last year
- Take a moment to read over the lists once you’ve written them out and circle the things that stand out or that you’d like to repeat/ keep going toward
- Draw on a separate piece of paper a large circle, and write in the center of the circle all the things you hold sacred (also known as your values). Then highlight the top 3-5
- Vision and then write out a picture of your ideal life one year from today. Write everything you can think of- how you look, what your environment smells like, if you have a job, if you’re in a relationship, what your friends are like, where you live, etc. Deliver every delicious detail of your dream life onto that page.
- Then extract your goals from it. If you visioned you are living in a 3 story walkup in NYC and you live in Florida the goal will be: I move into my 3 story walkup in NYC by x date.
- Be realistic. If you dream of being a rocket scientist, but have yet to graduate 3rd grade, give yourself time and space! It’s TOTALLY possible… just maybe not in a year :).
- Hold yourself accountable. Post the goals on your fridge, tell a friend, change your passwords- do whatever you need to do to keep yourself motivated
We will be offering a goal setting session on January 1 that’s free to members and open to the public for anyone who is seeking their best life! If you wanna really dive deep and make some big change in 2020, check out our Goal Digger membership for ultimate accountability and manifestation! Email for more info : firstname.lastname@example.org