I like to have goals. I keep a to-do list at work to stay organized and often put a star by the things I most want to accomplish each week. I plan my exercise activities for the week around my goals. Goals make me feel put-together and directed. They give me a sense of completion and accomplishment in situations where I would otherwise have few concrete milestones (for example, working on my flexibility in yoga can feel vague and hard to measure).
In planning for the new year, instead of resolutions, I considered setting goals. What do I want to accomplish in different areas of my life in 2019? What are my goals for my relationships, career, hobbies, etc? I started thinking about what I wanted to improve and accomplish.
Then, my mindfulness practice stepped in. I observed that this goal-setting conversation I was having within myself was really a way to look for problems or flaws in the present (for example, a goal to go to more yoga classes might be a way of criticizing myself for not doing enough). It was creating expectations that could go unmet. As someone who has used goals to create predictability in areas of growth, I wondered: what would happen if I let things unfold organically instead?
I define organic development as natural and unimpeded. It’s not controlled. It’s not future-oriented. It is about being present and allowing different areas of growth and experience to come together harmoniously to form a forward-moving whole.
I still use goals. I think they’re helpful and fun in many ways and I’m good at setting them and working toward them – but I believe being good at something is reason enough to explore a different way. While it will be a challenge to let go of setting some goals, I look forward to learning to move more organically through this next year.
Questions for reflection:
- What role do goals play in your life? How are your goals helping you or holding you back?
- What does “organic development” mean to you?
- How can you be more present and serve yourself in the coming year?
This article was provided by Katie Pizziketti as part of a her monthly series, Attitude for Gratitude, in which Katie will explore using gratitude to cultivate a mindful and positive active lifestyle. Join Katie for practice on Sundays at 12:30pm.
Yoga is a treasured part of Katie’s fitness lifestyle. She uses it to build strength, flexibility, and body awareness which complement her interests in running, weight training, and interval exercise. Katie is using yoga to improve her range of motion and wellbeing in ways which were missing from her other exercise routines.
Katie developed an appreciation for accessibility – creating things that can be used by people of any ability level – after several years of working with adults living with serious mental illnesses and other limitations. Her belief is that almost anything can be achieved with the right attitude (and modifications). She loves helping people find their own doable pose that is just the right amount of difficult. Her high-energy classes focus on becoming stronger and stretchier with a smile!