July 28, 2010

to goal or not to goal
as anyone who reads this blog knows, i love goals. i enjoy thinking about them, designing simple (or elaborate) ways to track them, and yes — even pursuing them. of course, sometimes things don’t go as planned. for example, last night i decided that i would bribe myself with this cozy little snack before working on my HLS presentation:

. . . and let’s just say that alcohol and powerpoint — as least for me — don’t really mix.

so i reorganized things in my head, gave myself a break, and decided to push this work off a day. but i still consider creating a great presentation a worthy goal. along with the (equally worthy?) goals of working on pediatric board prep, my research, keeping our home relatively organized and livable + and my body generally healthy and in shape.

i know — i’ve talked about all this before — many times! i’m not trying to bore you all with repetitive goal-talk. instead, i’m trying to wrap my mind around the latest zen habits post, which advocates that the best goal may be no goal.

leo reminds readers that “the journey is all. the destination is beside the point.” and for once i have to say that i don’t completely agree with his post! it may work for him — a very successful free-lance blogger with a supportive family — to go goal-less. but for the rest of us, especially those still plodding along a path to our ultimate career step, i just don’t see how this works.

one might argue that my gut reaction to his idea mean that i’m in the wrong career/life path and just forcing myself to do things that inside are not quite right for me. but i would counter with the fact that if that’s true, i’m pretty happy over here doing what i’m doing!

furthermore, i think that i’m already reaping the benefits of prior goal-setting (and pursuing).

β˜… if i hadn’t worked hard in classes that i didn’t like (like organic chem!) in college, i wouldn’t have gotten to the career path that i am on now, which i like

β˜… if i hadn’t set a goal of increasing my running endurance, i wouldn’t be able to enjoy my morning runs the way i do

β˜… if i hadn’t decided to blog daily a couple of years back, i might have stopped doing it altogether — and as you all know, i LOVE this part of my day!

i guess i just think there is a reason that planning and breaking things up into actionable steps and . . . goals have made it this far. i don’t always want to tackle every little thing, but sometimes it just has to be done in honor of the bigger picture. i’d rather take the quote “the journey is all. The destination is beside the point” to mean that you might as well find enjoyment in the steps along the way, even if they don’t always seem glamorous or in line with one’s preferences. in the previous zen habits post, i really liked the quote:

we can’t always do what we love. but we are free to love what we do.

yet another goal i fully support!

HLS teaser
anyone reading this coming to this year’s HLS? i am getting really excited for the time-management/organization presentation that kath, morgan, and i will be doing.

tomorrow i think i will write a bit about what i plan on talking about — and seek your feedback, as well! also, if you have even a fraction of the love for pretty paper and stationery supplies that i do, get excited. my favorite paper company has offered to give away some planners to attendees of our session, and there will also be several signed copies of the happiness project up for grabs!

morning goal
off to drag my goal-happy self to the gym for a workout. see, i might not want to pry myself from the laptop at this moment, but i know i’ll be happy mid-workout that i did! see what i mean?



workout: none — i rested! on monday, though i had a great 4.5 mile run despite tepid morning temps at 8:54/mi.

from the current cooking light: yes, i think i have exhausted the current clean eating issue that i was cooking through! luckily, the september/october issue arrived in the mail yesterday . . . but since it’s not even close to fall, i’m going to cook out of other summer sources for a while.

i LOVED this prosciutto and melon pasta salad! honestly, i thought the flavor combinations were kind of genius. a classic combo served in a non-traditional way, and so summery. i definitely recommend.

board prep: can you imagine that after the wine i was in NO mood to study? imagine that. i will catch up, though. here’s what i have to contend with:

come on, how could i forget the potter sequence!? next time . . .


  • Reply Chelsea March 10, 2019 at 7:25 pm

    I think the thing that&#39s helpful about goals is that they can help overcome the "I don&#39t want to" inertia. For example, I really enjoy playing music, but sometimes I think I don&#39t want to practice piano. Having a goal of practicing X times a week gets me to sit down in front of the piano. Once I start playing I remember that oh yeah, I do this because I enjoy it.

  • Reply Michelle March 10, 2019 at 7:25 pm

    I read the zen habits post yesterday and I thought the same things. I think my life would be pretty boring without goals – I&#39m not sure where I would be. I also like the process of setting and achieving goals – it&#39s fulfilling.

  • Reply Steve March 10, 2019 at 7:25 pm

    Great article. I will start off by saying, I am totally biased AGAINST goals. In fact, I have a book called "Goal-Free Living" that came out a few years ago. Oprah liked it too because it ended up being the cover story in her magazine.

    Almost everything truly spectacular that has happened in my life is a result of my not being focused on my goals. It doesn&#39t mean that I don&#39t have goals though.

    My latest blog entry might shed some light on the topic.


    The one line from the article that I would highlight is this…

    “For most people the present is designed to give them a future they want. For me, the future gives me the present I want.”

    I hope this provide another data point.


    Steve Shapiro

  • Reply Amy March 10, 2019 at 7:25 pm

    Which macbook pro model did you end up getting? I&#39m debating which one to buy. My macbook needs to be upgraded as well!

  • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger March 10, 2019 at 7:25 pm

    amy — i got a 13" macbook pro, the one with the higher memory (josh&#39s suggestion, hence my ignorance of the actual specs πŸ™‚ )

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