How to Say Goodbye to Goals and Yes to an Adventurous Life


It started with an Un-Christmas

This past year I had two simple goals for the holiday – enjoy and relax! Normally, my Christmas goals take up pages in my planner. Simply put, our family had an un-Christmas. Un- meaning when it came to the tree, the trimmings, the shopping, the wrapping, et cetera, etc. we said – NO.

My daughter (who I refer to as Elf on steroids at Christmas) was pregnant and very nauseous. In addition, she was in the process of moving out of her first home and into a new home for her expanding family.  She wasn’t decorating.  Hallelujah, the pressure was off! Aside from not having to listen to her nagging about my lack of decoration, I compassionately gave myself a hall pass because of our new 3 month old Golden Retriever Bowden.

My definition of relaxing always includes a good book in my hand with a journal nearby to capture the good stuff, personal insights and future to do’s. The relaxation during my un-Christmas holiday was no different and the book in my hand was The Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes. And it was Ah-may-zing!

While I may not be doing it justice, I summarize it as a book of Shonda’s personal experiences of why we should say No to goals and Yes to an adventurous life.  Even though I’m not even sure if she mentions goals in the book, it primarily talks about saying Yes to the opportunities life brings. Which led Shonda to some crazy, off the charts exciting adventures in her life. I don’t think she mentions the word surrender either but I think that may have been intentional not to scare off control freaks like me. (And her too btw)

From an Un-Christmas to an Un-Goal 2018

While it may sound strange for a life coach to tell you to not make any goals it was a big idea that I came away with from reading the book.  Not that goals are bad or don’t help us achieve success. I still believe there is a place for them. However, there is a reason so many people have stopped setting them – goals often don’t get us where we want to go.  Or worse yet, goals get us where we didn’t know we didn’t want to go. Aka ladder against the wrong wall.

The problem with goals is they start outside of us and we hope to bring them in. We look around and see what we want.

  • I want that body
  • I want this job
  • Only $XX dollars in the bank will do

And then there is relationships goals. Don’t even get me started. Half the goal is outside of our control because their are other people involved. Sometimes they are 100% out of our control (shout out to the single ladies).

Regardless, we look outside for what goals would make us happy or more content. Often these goals get set on repeat year after year. After all

“If you can’t stop thinking about it, don’t stop working for it.” tweet

Ultimately after a few seasons of repeat we drop them altogether. It’s why I’ve decided to say no to goals and yes to a more adventurous life this year.

Goal planning is Ego’s Way of Saying – I know the best way (Tweet that)

Goal planning is our Ego’s way of saying – I know the best way to get me where I want to go. A place I’ve never even been before! Sounds insane to say it out loud. In reflecting on the book, the question for me that begged to be asked.  If I believe in God (or Karma, the Universe, the Divine or whatever your name is for a Higher Power) then doesn’t He already have everything figured out? After all, he has given me these dreams and desires. Isn’t He smart enough to know the best way to get me there? And the answer was a resounding – Yes!

Our human problem is that we are soooo busy trying to figure it out for ourselves (Ego trip) with our SMART goals, our 12-week year and the latest goal setting planner that we walk around totally unaware of all the opportunities that life (aka God) is presenting to us on a daily basis. Opportunities to say yes. Yes to the things that scare the crap out of us, to connecting with people different than ourselves, and to the things that put a smile on our face. All because we are too dang busy working out that goal plan!! Yes, to all the things that God is putting in our path.  The smartest, fastest route to the adventurous life of our dreams…if we will only say Yes!

Grab your journal; it’s your turn to say yes to growth

Take a few moments and reflect on the areas of life you need to say YES to:

  1. Make a list of 3 activities that scare you that you will say yes to. Who can hold you accountable to saying yes?
  2. Make a list of situations where you need to say yes to yourself for a change and no (or not now) to the demands of others.
  3. What are some No’s that you have said in the last couple weeks that you need to revisit and say Yes to.




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