Why I’m Not Setting Goals for 2019 - by Stacy Firth for MotherHustle
“I am letting go of my tendency to push and force and figure it all out, and learning instead to allow life to unfold while listening to the quietest, strongest parts of me.”

Here’s what I’m going for in 2019: dreams, not goals.

Goals are the benchmarks set by my mind. They’re about striving, comparison, things I “should” be doing. They’re things that I believe will make me feel accomplished, successful. They’re items that impress, that might fill my wallet and my calendar but usually don’t do the same for my heart.

In the past, goals have filled up my to-do lists, created my days, consumed my professional life.

Dreams are set somewhere deep in my soul. They’re the things I’ve been carrying around my whole life. They live in my peripheral vision, they’re hard to explain or quantify. They are audacious things. I imagine that most people would describe them as impossible or unlikely or improbable and I no longer care.

I believe in my wildest dreams.

You might be confused: aren’t goals how you reach your dreams? Not for me, not anymore. Goals are the things that, in the past, I have decided I need to do to get where I want to go. I no longer want to decide that in advance. I don’t want to attempt to contrive what this year will bring, and break it down into small steps, and cross items off a list each week for the next 12 months.

That has been my approach in years past. It has led me further from my quiet little whisper of truth.

This year, I instead want to connect deeply to all that I believe is possible for me in this life. And then I want to let go. I want to live in each day, be present for it. I want to do what lights me up now, and now, and now. I want to finally allow my gut feeling to be my guide.

I have nothing against goal-setting, I just know that I don’t want to take that approach—maybe just for now, maybe for the rest of my life.

I have not chosen a word of the year, or read a single blog post about five-year plans, or purchased a workbook to outline what’s next. I have a slim, simple weekly planner to keep track of deadlines and projects. I have a clear vision of where I want to end up. I have no idea, right now, how I will get there. I am letting go of my tendency to push and force and figure it all out, and learning instead to allow life to unfold while listening to the quietest, strongest parts of me.

I have no goals for 2019. I do have dreams that are bigger than a calendar year can encompass, that can’t be neatly filled out in the allocated space in a planner, that don’t need to be broken down into tidy little tasks in a to-do list.

I know, in a way that is not at all morbid, that my time in this life is limited.

I am not scared of dying; I am scared of not living my life. And so, I am casting aside strategy in favor of feeling. I am learning to trust that my dreams aren’t delusions, they’re the foggy, winding path to deep, vibrant happiness. I am learning how to wrap my arms around myself and take a trust fall into the uncertain magic of life.


MotherHustle panelist Stacy Firth is a writer and content strategist who helps moms who are small business owners and solopreneurs create online content that keeps it real. She also leads workshops that help mamas lead a lit-up life, and is mama to two. You can find her on her website or on Instagram at @stacyrfirth.

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