Tuesday, 6 January 2015

No Need For Goal Setting - Try 'Flow' Setting Instead

Normality has returned to the Wilson household (well, as normal as you can get with three teenagers under one roof!)

We all shuffled back to school, college and work this week with as much enthusiasm as a wet mop.  I’m not surprised about the kids – that comes with the territory, but I’m a different story.  I love my job very much and yet I returned with a melancholy aura.
My evenings aren’t much better.  At the end of last year, I would finish work to do my household chores.  I’d feed the kids, clean the fish and then settle down in front of my laptop to bash out a chapter or two and tackle an article or blog post.
Instead, I find myself staring at the wall with a bewildered expression plastered to my face.  It’s not writers block.  I know this because my head is crammed full of story and blog post ideas that scream at me with every waking moment (thank goodness for post-it notes!). 
It finally hit me at 2am the other morning as I tossed and turned in bed and eventually turned the light on to empty my thoughts onto paper.  I’ve been so busy organising my blog content to help motivate my readers that I forgot all about setting my goals!
I feel like a balloon let loose in the sky and is floating aimlessly.  That perfect quote, ‘a dream without a plan is just a wish’ is on repeat in my brain.

So, here I am – goal free – and feeling twitchy, irritable and adrift.  All around me I hear my friends talking about their ambitions for 2015, and I’m jealous.  They are so in control, and I realise with horror that my mojo has been packed away with the Christmas decorations.

I resort to an hour of meditation, colouring in and baking and before long I begin to feel human again (cake helps!).  What I need to do next is give myself a damn good talking to!

So I lock myself away, (not a difficult task as my three children are prone to hibernating in their bedrooms) and I log on to Pinterest.

Being a visual person I need to see bright images of happy, smiling people, it never fails to lift my spirits.  Armed with a mug of tea and a notepad I set about searching the site for inspiration.

Before long, I stumbled across the board for art journals.  These are small pocket books full of painted images, watercolours and research notes.   The perfect tool for any artist – I am NOT any artist, I am no artist at all, but the idea stirs a thought.  The thought triggers a string of ideas and before I know it I’m plotting a 365 power word journal.  (More on this next week).

I’m starting to feel in the zone, and a few concepts are emerging.  The next Pinterest search pulls up one of my favourite pastimes – list writing.  Turning to my notepad, I jot down several ideas that spring to mind as I read through the variety of lists.

·        What makes you happy?

·        Favourite ways to relax.

·        Rainy day ideas.

·        Things I collect.

This little task opens up the floodgates, and I scribble the flow of goal ideas in my notepad.

·        Reading, writing, crafting

·        Bubble baths and the beach

·        Colouring in and watching movies

·        Self-help books and crystals

It was like someone had peered into my head and fished out the bits that matter.

Using this process, I was able to discover what was important to me.  Now I just needed to work out how to turn these into goals that would benefit me in 2015.

Reading, Writing and Crafting

I love reading, and whenever possible I will give an honest review on Amazon or Goodreads.  Including reviews on my author site is something I shall pursue in 2015.

Writing is my passion and with my debut teen fantasy book due out shortly I will be working hard on book two and three, along with a second non-fiction title.

Crafting is my way of meditating, with the bonus of spending time with my children.  Baking with my middle son, drawing with my eldest son and making jewellery with my daughter will be weekends well spent.

Bubble Baths and Beaches

Once a month I will treat myself to the luxury of a bubble bath with meditative music and a smelly candle.

The sound of the sea is restorative for the soul, and I will spend more time at the beach this year.  If I can’t make the seaside I will walk to the local park and sit by the duck pond!

Colouring In and Movies

Making Mandalas using Zentangle and other artist techniques can be implemented into my meditation classes and run a workshop at my place of work.  For the good of my well-being and that of my clients.

Bring back Friday Film night for me and the kids.  Popcorn is optional!

Self-help Books and Crystals

Refer to reading goal – specialise in reviewing self-help books and blog your findings.

I know a lot about crystals, but I want to know more.  Book an advanced course in crystal therapy and use crystals more often in my holistic work.


On reflection, I realised that by not setting strategic goals I was able to ‘go with the flow’, and I found the simple pleasures of life are what are important to me this year.

If you don’t have a Pinterest account then don’t worry – a Google search using ‘Images’ will bring up a huge variety of vibrant pictures to stir your imagination.

Writing a list will also help to highlight the best bits for your 'flow' setting.  Try jotting down a few answers to the following lists and see where it takes you: -

·        Jobs you might enjoy

·        If I had more time, I’d…

·        Things to photograph

·        Inventions you wish existed

Who knows, you may find a goal for 2015 that opens up a whole new set of opportunities, all because you went with the flow.

Have you set your 2015 goals or did you struggle like me?

Power Word of the Week = Happiness


  1. This is such a great way to set goals! I'm definitely a list-maker but the concept of using Pinterest as goal inspiration is a new idea to me, and I'd definitely give it a go. I've only set a couple of modest goals for this year - I didn't so much struggle though, as decide to take it easy :)

    All the best with them all, looking forward to reading about how you get on x

    1. I have an unhealthy obsession with Pinterest so it's always my go-to for a pick-me-up haha. Taking it easy sounds like my ideal kind of goal, good luck with yours :)

  2. Now that you've pointed it out, I realise that something similar is going on in my head. I have lots of ideas, but just don't seem able to kickstart anything. However, this morning I have heard that I've come second in a competition, which has given my confidence a boost. I don't use Pinterest, but I do look at morguefile.com for inspiration. Perhaps my next job this morning should be to make some tea, dig out a colouring book and see what happens.

    1. Haha I'm glad I'm not the only balloon floating in the air Julia ;) Huge CONGRATS on your competition achievement, that would make my confidence soar too. I'm going to have a look at morguefile - any excuse to look at pretty pictures! Happy colouring x

  3. I am what you could call an "anti-resolutionary". :)
    Three of my greater accomplishments last year were not even on my radar on January 1st 2014. I quit smoking, won NaNoWriMo, and started my blog. I could never have conceived of those things this time last year.
    So, goals are good, but there has to be room for flow, like you describe ... to make room for those uncharted accomplishments.
    If the goals are too stringent, we might miss the magic.

    1. Love your warning about missing the magic.