Why It’s Better To Have Themes, Not Goals

The reason I set a goal to blog every day in June is that I wanted to get back to writing.

Writing is my artistic medium of choice. Words are how I express. Writing is what I want to get better at, so I know I need to practice every day.

That’s why I set up this goal.

It not only incentivizes me to practice, but the physical reality of a post acts as social proof.

But setting goals can be tricky. Most of the time goals just set you up for failure.

They’re like new year’s resolutions. People don’t make them because they know they won’t keep them.

Dieting and weight-loss goals are the most typical and frustrating.

As is anything you vow to do every single day

They’re just not sustainable. Things happen and you miss or fall off the wagon.

That’s why it’s better to live by themes instead of goals. 

Themes are more like a personal manifesto, or something you believe in and strive to be. 

Themes can be something like, “Be grateful,” or “Be healthy,” or “Express yourself through your art.”

If you practice your themes every day and show up for them, you build yourself a lifestyle rather than just hitting a series of random goals.

Themes are lifestyle commitments, not a single bullseye on a dart board you either hit or miss. 

I have missed two days so far of posting here this month. 

I’m not happy about this but I haven’t given up, either. I have not missed a day of writing, but on two of those days, I didn’t have anything in my word dumpster I could salvage that was good enough to post. Some days everything I write is garbage. 

What I’m trying to say here is that even though I didn’t hit my goal of posting every day, I have still shown up for the writing. My theme is “practice your art.” 

So I will continue dumping two thousand words a day into Scrivener in the hopes that I can find, and then shine up, some morsel you will find tasty. 

 All I want to do here is find those Venn patches where my life and yours overlap. So, onward. 

3 thoughts on “Why It’s Better To Have Themes, Not Goals

  1. That’s a nice way to look at things. I myself have systems in place alongside goals. For me, it helps to have SMART goals so that it’s that much easier to work towards something.

    But when all else fails, I have my systems in place, which are my daily non-negotiables (write, exercise, learn). Weirdly enough, I’ve never missed a day of executing my system. Anyway, thanks for this post!


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