On Goals and Moods
The problem with goals, or so it seems to me, is that the me who sets them wants different things than the me whose job it is to achieve them.
On a Sunday night, in a buoyant mood, I might decide that nothing less than movie stardom is my true desire; three hours into a Monday morning and that seems grandiose, unnecessary, and far less appealing than a documentary about penguins on the Discovery Channel.
Time and time again, what I feel like doing in the moment seems totally incompatible with what I say I want to achieve in my life. On the other hand, the more I try to force myself to "do what I've got to do to achieve my goals", the less motivated I feel and the less joy I experience in my life.
I have, however, found a pretty reliable way out of this one - something that helps me stay on course whilst "caught up in the whirlwind of my ever-changing moods."
1. Make two lists - one titled "What I want to get done today", the second titled "What I want to do today"
2. Go through your list and make note of any seeming incompatibilities, i.e. something you want to do that seems to have nothing to do with what you want to get done, or something you want to get done that has no corresponding actions in the "what you want to do" list.
3. Realise that far from being incompatible, these lists contain valuable inner guidance to the most effective ways for you to achieve what you really want to achieve. By keeping both lists in mind (or better still, on a piece of paper in front of you), you will find yourself getting more done and having more fun.
I get the greatest benefits from this when I check in every hour or so throughout the day, asking myself what I want to get done in the next hour, and what I want to do in the next hour. The more disciplined I am about NOT forcing myself to do those things that aren't on my list but I think "should" be, the better it seems to work.
Have fun and learn heaps!