Many people talk about the importance of goal setting, myself included but then you also hear myself and others talking about going with the flow and not forcing things so dang hard. So which one is it? Should you set goals or should you be going with the flow....well, both!
There may be different times in your life that you need to focus on one or the other. Some times you need some fire in your life and in that case choose a goal and pursue it with determination. You may have periods in your life where nothing seems to be working and you set goals but you are just pushing so hard for something that is not working and in that case you may need to take a step back and just go with the flow.
But the real trick is that you can do both at the same time!
Pick your goals and pursue them, but go with the flow about how they are going to come to fruition. You may have opportunities come to you that you would not have thought of and you just need to go with the flow and see where they take you. I have had times when I have set a goal of what I want to do and it may have a couple facets to it. For example with writing. I have a scheduled that I will do a specific article each day. Each week I aim to get one mindset, fitness, ask Lauren and recipe article done. But sometimes I have a week where mindset articles are flowing like crazy but I can not seem to focus on getting a fitness articles done, it is like paddling up steam. In a situation like this I simply do 4 mindset articles instead. I am still working towards my goals, I am still getting 4 articles done, but I am going with the flow on it. I know that I will have a week where the fitness articles are flowing easy and I will catch up on them as well. There are also days when I can not sit and focus on my articles but I am super motivated to cook, so I use that time to create as many new recipes as I can. It is still working towards my recipe articles and it is making great progress towards finishing my cook book. I go with the flow of where my motivation takes me.
Schedule all the things you need to get done to accomplish the goals you have, but then go with the flow on how you accomplish them. Everything we do is both an analytical and artistic process. And sometimes we will have more motivation to do one aspect than the other and when you follow this flow you will usually wind up with the best results.
If you are going with the flow and nothing is ever getting done then it is time to reevaluate. If you are getting nothing done you are either doing something you have no passion for or you really just need more discipline. Take a look at your goal, is it something you actually want, are you passionate about it? Is it a goal you have arbitrarily set for yourself or it is something other people told you is a good goal? Only you can choose what is right for you. Usually when you have chosen a goal that you are passionate about you do not need to have intense discipline because you really want to put your time and energy on the goal. If you lack discipline then you need to set specific parameters for yourself. If you need to spend an hour a day on what you are doing be firm on that portion of your plan of action. Make it a specific time each day. Be a little more relaxed with what you are going to work on, you can let that be your go with the flow part or the equation, but the amount of time you spend on your goal and time of day should stay consistent. This way you get used to putting that time in everyday. It becomes a habit. Habits are what will create your success.
Don't choose one or the other when it comes to going with the flow or pursuing your goals with zeal. You can have both the fire in your life by setting great goals and a less stress approach by going with the flow. Really it is the best of both worlds. Test it out for yourself, the only thing you have to lose is maybe a little bit of undue stress.