Is Goals Free Living Suitable for You?

By Ellesse

Have you ever consider living a life where all you have to do, is set down an initial direction and let life’s tidal waves sweep you by? You can change direction, switch paths along the way, but whichever beach you land will be determined by your circumstantial choices and not something that you have planned even before you set out to the sea.

As I reflect this concept first conceived by Stephen Shapiro, author of a book of the same name, I’ve realized that unknowingly, I used to live a life like that. Nothing concretely planned out. No SMART goals. The only thing I knew back then was that I’ve got to acquire a good education so that I could have a good job in the future and be happy. That’s all.

But I do admit that during the time when I was goal free, it was relatively a stress free phase. I wasn’t out on a mission to prove anything to anyone. I led a life having fun like every teenager, experimenting with little things and enjoying every moment of it. Interestingly, I never ran out of luck too as I always managed to get good grades for my school exams.

It was only during my Pre-university days that I’ve started to take a more active interest in my own consciousness. And since then, I’ve never really looked back. Life entirely goals free contains too much unpredictability that I can stomach. If you don’t plan your goals, you’ll most likely find yourself in someone else’s plan.

So, is Goals Free Living totally out of my dictionary?

Not really.

There’s a great underlying message behind it that makes me sit up and pay some attention. It’s about doing the things you enjoy, appreciating life in the present and keeping in view the opportunities that may crop up in the course of it. Hmm, interesting.

Now, how many times have you been too focused on accomplishing your goal that cause you to lose priorities over things that matter to you?

If you’ve encountered many situations like that, would incorporating a 100% Goal Free Living lifestyle be suitable for you?

My take is, to have a balance.

How Do You Maintain a Balance?

The key is to create opportunities to enjoy the benefits of Goals Free Living, without abandoning the elements of a good Goal Setting approach. In other words, decide when to stay goals free.

Here are 2 scenarios :

(1) After Accomplishing A Goal

The free spirited nature of an intermittent Goals Free lifestyle can give yourself space to develop new ideas for your next goal or review some of your deferred plans. To some, it even serves as a reward for having completed a disciplined routine.

For example, after working through my goal plan relentlessly for 2 years in Pre-university and achieving my goal of getting to the University, I’ve largely stayed goal free for the first few months of college. It was a much need break! I got very much revitalized and before I even realised, I’ve already started setting goals for my first semestral exams.

Care should be taken though, not to rest on your laurels after that because it can easily sweep you off the balance that got you to maintain the Goals Free lifestyle in the first place.

(2) When Your Goal Fundamentals Have Changed

If you’re getting stuck at some level where the burning reason that got you initiated has changed or the bottom line values that support your goal have shifted, it may make sense to adopt a temporary Goals Free phase. It allows your mind to freshen up and reassess the priorities.

Like my friend who gave up her vice president position in a bank to take care of her toddler (when her values shifted from career to family), the last time I checked with her was that she has chosen to take a wait and see approach before deciding the next course of action.

Her rationale is simple. Since her focus is now on her family, she doesn’t see any purpose in rushing into another goal so fast. Besides, she strongly believes that the break will give her ample time to rethink her business strategy for the new home business that she already has in mind.


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