Are You Too Goal-Oriented?

Are You Too Goal-Oriented? Lynn DaueCreating your customized, refined life isn't easy. You want to

  • do what you love and love what you do
  • live in a postcard and magazine-spread environment
  • rock a healthy, sexy body
  • eat delicious, gourmet, organic food
  • have a fulfilling and intimate relationship with your soulmate
  • be the perfect, loving parent
  • and more!

Knowing that you want all of these things, you set out to ~make them happen~.

You make lists, set goals and deadlines, and get to hustling. Every spare moment is dedicated to creating your Perfect Life.

And then you burn out.

What started off as an earnest effort to architect your life became another monster to-do list. What went wrong?

You may be too goal-oriented.

5 Mistakes You May Be Making When Creating Your Perfect Life

You may think you want to follow your passion, rock a bikini body, etc., etc., etc., but what you really want to do is live your life on your own terms.

What does that even mean?

As you begin the process of building your beautiful life, you will inevitably run into some of these common pitfalls.

1. Starting with the HOW

Once you've decided that a) you're over your life the way it is and b) you're going to fix it, the next obvious step is HOW to fix it. You immerse yourself in self-help books and personal development blogs, you take courses and enroll in programs, and you do everything you can to learn how to make your life perfect.

Before you can figure out HOW to change your life, you must first determine WHY you want change your life. If you act without first assessing your reasoning, you end up mindlessly ticking off boxes without seeing any true progress.

Ultimately, it's not about what you want to do, it's about who you want to be. (Tweet it!)

2. Aiming for perfection

It's not enough to be healthy and slender; you must be a world-class fitness guru and supermodel.

It's not enough to eat lean meats and fresh fruit and vegetables; you must only eat organic food watered by the tears of babies.

It's not enough to have comfortable, lovely home; your domicile must be decorated by blind Tibetan interior designers that feel the energy of the space to optimize it for ideal living.

Constantly aiming for superlatives, continuously raising the bar, and not recognizing when enough is enough detracts from what is the perfect life for you.

Instead of shooting for some mythical flawless life, ask yourself, "What can I do with what I have—and is this enough for me?" 

If it's enough, stop, celebrate, and life your life. If it's not, take small, baby steps towards what you want. Progress, not perfection.

3. Excessive activity

Imagine: you decide that your perfect life includes European vacations, an immaculate house, and a killer body. So you wake up at 5am to hit the gym for two hours. You work through lunch and past quitting time in exchange for extra vacation days and overtime pay. You come home, and immediately set to scrubbing, buffing, dusting, decluttering, and plumping. You collapse into bed, exhausted, just to wake up and do it all over again.

And it's worth it, because these things are all part of your Perfect Life. Once you have them, you will be Happy.

Not quite. Pushing yourself to the limits in pursuit of something that you want will keep you in a state of wanting—even after you achieve your goal.

As you make progress towards the life you truly desire, take regular breaks to do absolutely nothing. (Yes, nothing.) Sit in a chair and daydream. Drum your fingers on the table. Paint with your kids and laze about with your spouse. Enjoy your life as it is, and more moments will come.

4. Comparing yourself to others

Theodore Roosevelt summed it up when he said, "Comparison is the thief of joy."

As you begin your journey towards your ideal life, it's too easy to look at others who are on the same path and ask yourself why you're not as rich/smart/pretty/successful as them yet. Why have they achieved all of this, and you haven't?

They may have started before you. They may put more focus on this thing than you do. They may have had fewer or different obstacles to overcome. Or, perhaps, you don't care as much as they do.

Whatever the case may be, the only person you can truly compare yourself to is yourself.

Are you better today than you were yesterday?

Are you making small, incremental changes that will ultimately result in the life you want?

If so, that's good enough.

5. Judging others

On the flip side of lamenting why you're not where others are, you may fall into the trap of excoriating people for not being where you are.

It's so easy to ________, you may think.

Well, it might not be easy for others to ________. Much like your obstacles differ from the people ahead of you, they also differ from the people behind you. Everyone progresses at his or her own pace, and it's not up to you to decide if they're up to speed or not.

An Answer to the Obvious Question

You may be asking: isn't getting goal-oriented part of your model? I mean, Lynn, you're an achievement strategist.

Absolutely. Helping you architect a framework for making your dreams come true is absolutely part of my model.

More importantly, so is reclaiming your life.

Reclaiming your life includes snatching back the "shoulds" that are programmed into our psyches by society, our families, our religious upbringing, and other external factors. It's about letting go of what others think of us—and what we think of others—and focusing on right-sizing the life we do have control over—our own.

If you're ready to reclaim your life, I have two resources for you:

1. "Clear Your Calendar Like Marie Kondo." This free ebook, new in January, applies the principles of the world-renowned KonMari Method™ to your to-do list. Head on over to the download page here.

2. Release & Refine. My signature time & task management program will help you sift through your commitments and begin building the life that's perfect for you. Learn more about Release & Refine and get with the program here.