New Year’s Day while on our way back to Manila after the holidays, I asked a loved one why he doesn’t make a list of goals for the New Year. His answer was simple “I don’t want to set expectations and disappoint myself when I fail to achieve it”. Curiously, I asked again, “Then how do you make things happen in your life without planning?” And he immediately answered, “As long as I know what I’m doing and it will take me to what I want to be, I’m good with it, no need to write it down.”
On the contrary, it has been a tradition for me marking down my plans to kick-off the year. My progress stimulates a sense of excitement as I tick-off my lists every year-end. The regulars usually are my travel goals to as many places as I can, saving up PhpXXX amount, career leap, losing weight and learning something new. My 2017 didn’t fail me except for the losing weight part (LOL). After that conversation, I contemplated for a while. Do I want to change how I do things this year and try doing it spontaneously? Will I ditch listing down my goals/plans for 2018? Eleven days after New Year, I finally decided to stick to what I got used to. Not because I don’t want to take chances and do something new. I do, actually. It’s just that, it works for me so why get rid of it?
In the era of social media, everything is public, fast-paced, #Goals posted everywhere, associating our lives and achievements from that of others and the end-products are pressure and stress. I too experienced it at some point. More often my goals were patterned after the clamor of the society. Sometimes the intent and purpose doesn’t define me. At that moment, I paused to think what really makes me happy? Who do I really want to become? Then flashes of things that I love doing crossed my mind – fulfillment after reading a good book, writing a blog, going back to running, visiting more heritage houses and museums and as plain as enjoying a cup of coffee during friends meet-up. With that thought, there’s no point in pushing myself too hard. I want to recourse to conventional activities which are less stressful and will make me feel better. I will still navigate but with a purpose of fulfilling the old soul in me and not just for the show-off bucketlist. I will work not for the heck of getting that “title” but because I don’t want an idle mind. I will still spend prudently but scrap setting a specific amount, instead I will save to buy more books and to build a shelf for my stuff. This year, I will take things on my own pace as modestly as I can. With my own definition of contentment.
And for the greater things, I’ll leave it up to 2018 to surprise me!