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A New Way to Set Goals

It’s a new year, and time to set new goals! But why do so many of us struggle to keep them? A New Year always makes people want to start fresh, and to be a better version of themselves. We all like to set goals, but the average time we keep those goals is less than one month.

At the beginning of last year, I set goals for myself and managed to keep a few of them through the year while a few went the way of the dodo bird. It’s not that I made too many goals (I limited myself to four goals) it’s just that the goals that I did not accomplish did not fit into my larger life goals. For goals to stick, we have to know what aligns with our true desires. Having a goal that does not align with your true desires will not work. To help me figure out what my true “goals” were, I created a Rule of Life for myself.

What is a Rule of Life?

A good rule can set us free to be our true and best selves. It is a working document, a kind of spiritual budget, not carved in stone but subject to regular review and revision. It should support us, but never constrict us.”

Margaret Guenther

A rule of life is different than the goals or resolutions we set for ourselves. These are task-based and measurable. A rule of life, on the other hand, helps you become. It includes several simple statements that guides our life.

A Good Rule of Life should do three things:

  • Help us turn ideas into reality
  • Help us live in alignment with our deepest desire
  • Help us experience peace

Entering 2022, I was still feeling the burnout I faced in 2020 and 2021. Working on my Rule of Life helped me see areas that I was neglecting that were important to me and other areas I was giving way too much time to that did not matter. When I did small shift to where I gave my time to I was able to focus a bit more on the creative projects. I started having space to breathe. 

A rule of life gives me space in 2023 to keep developing the qualities from my list. I don’t have to reinvent the wheel every year. I can focus on an area and work to develop that part of my journey. It helps me set realistic goals that align with my true self. 

No, I did not lose 50 pounds in 2022, but I found a bit more peace. Do I give up wanting to lose those 50 pounds? No. I did find a side effect of focusing on my Rule of Life that I focused more on things like meditation, breathing, and a bit more yoga which in turn helped me lose 10 pounds, gain muscle, give me a clearer mind and generally feel better. Focusing on what matters helped me start to achieve the smaller goals.

Tools To Help You Create A Rule of Life

Be daring, be different, be impractical, be anything that will assert integrity of purpose and imaginative vision against the play-it-safers, the creatures of the commonplace, the slaves of the ordinary.

Chris Guillebeau

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