Can Goal Setting be Harmful to Your Health?

Be There Quote compliments of Shrimp Salad Circus! <3

Be There Quote compliments of Shrimp Salad Circus! <3

If these are the moments of your life, what do they say about the way you are choosing to live yours?

It seems everywhere I look people are setting their goals for 2015—and while I started this year with the same intentions—I’m changing my mind and choosing a different approach.

I’m choosing to stay open to intuitive guidance, to live in the moment, and to follow the path that feels most connected to my passion and purpose.

This means that I’m not actively setting any specific goals and/or plans this year for my personal life, or for my business.

Craziness?? Quite possibly!

I’ve been in a very reflective, contemplative kind of mood lately.

For one thing, I’m still in recovery from the surgery I had in early December and have noticed I’m coming up against a lot of resistance and self-judgment lately.

My mind seems to think I should be all healed up and ready to dive head-first back into life and business. And in the first few weeks of this month I tried to do just that.

I made lists, set goals, and tried to figure out my priorities. I stressed about all I should be doing and had fallen behind with. And I tried to jump back into a fitness plan–ignoring the ever present messages from my body telling me I’m not ready for all that!

My body keeps telling me I need to take it slow and easy–to savor this downtime.

It’s telling me to embrace the life changes I’m experiencing, and to get back in touch with who I am underneath all of these external, self-imposed responsibilities.

It says, “This is where you’re at RIGHT NOW and it’s important to be all here—not wishing you were somewhere else, doing something else!”

As Christina Katz in her book Writer Mama says,

“Staying sane requires doing what you can do, not simply wishing to do more than you already do.”

Do you have trouble savoring the downtime?  

Our modern day global society seems to be wired to constantly be on the go. To do more, strive more, be more, achieve more. I can’t help but wonder—What has happened to our downtime??

If we were to stay connected to the lifecycle of the earth, we’d realize that winter is traditionally a time for self-reflection.

It’s a time for going deep into your psyche—a time for spiritual hibernation.

Winter is a time for rest and rejuvenation!

We would do well to behave like the Midwest plants and trees who take this time to nurture their roots deep beneath the snow packed, frozen earth in preparation for spring growth.

Why not take this time to slow down, to withdraw from the constant cacophony of social obligations and nurture your own roots?

It’s time to look closely at the path you’ve been treading and course correct if you realize you’ve been moving in the wrong direction.

That’s what I’m doing.

I’m deep in the process of listening to my internal compass and determining if the recent choices and actions I’ve made are in alignment with my soul’s purpose.

So far, I’ve determined that I’ve fallen slightly off course—but it was a good detour.

This detour helped me realize two things:

  1. I need to stop being so hard on myself when I can’t attain the goals I set in the time I expect to achieve them.
  2. I need to spend more time in the present moment rather than with my head focused on tomorrow.

My downtime since surgery has helped me to see that I need to STOP making so many plans and allow life to unfold the way it’s meant to.

I know I’ve been spending too much time living in the future—imagining the day when my body will be 100% healthy, my business will be successful, my debt will be paid off, and I’ll be actively creating, speaking, teaching, and travelling the way I’ve always dreamed.

The problem is—those are unrealistic dreams that are clouding my ability to embrace where I’m at right now. They are impeding my ability to be ALL HERE in body, mind, and spirit RIGHT NOW!

This doesn’t mean I’m not moving forward in terms of personal or professional growth!

Because it never fails—the moment I stop pushing, opportunity arrives.

The more I speak my truth, listen to my intuitive guidance, and take INSPIRED action—the quicker things that I’ve wanted all along align and begin to arrive.

And when I wake up to what is RIGHT NOW, there is proof that life is already pretty amazing:

  • This last Friday I was able to spend the entire day with my sixteen-year-old son. We went to his annual eye exam, had lunch, talked about his future plans, and watched a few episodes of Revolution.
  • That day, I was happy to see my dad was feeling better, too, when we stopped by for a visit. He was out in his shop working—able to take a 15-minute break to chat and joke around—not worried about his upcoming stress test or the potential of more heart problems.
  • Saturday was spent hanging out with my daughter and the next-door neighbor watching them laugh and play as they tumbled across the living room floor, made a mess with their art projects, and raced each other in Mario Kart.
  • Then Sunday came and my husband had a day off work. The four of us went out for breakfast, shopped for a couple of birthday presents, then celebrated my brother-in-law’s 27th birthday with his girlfriend, dinner at a Chinese buffet, cake, and an unbelievably crazy Nerf gun fight!

I laughed almost EVERY day this weekend because I was HERE, paying attention, participating, and being available to my family 100%.


Look what I found when I went shopping on Saturday! It was a two for one special!

Look what I found when I went shopping on Saturday! It was a two for one special!


It was incredible!

And in the midst of all this—I got a call out of the blue from a dear friend interested in setting up a weekend full of conscious living workshops!

It seemed the universe had my back all along, ready to offer up the next opportunity the minute I stopped trying so hard to make things happen.

So I can’t help but wonder—should we STOP setting goals and making plans?

Perhaps we’re better off creating intentions, remaining open to possibility, and trusting that our intuitive guidance has our best interests at heart and will know when to take inspired action.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this below or over on the Facebook page!


With love and light, ~ Darcey

Darcey Rojas is the founder of The Compassionate Home. She is a Holistic Designer, Certified Design Psychology Coach, and Green Design Center Trade Partner dedicated to creating positive home environments that heal mind, body, and soul, strengthen family relationships, and nurture our true potential. Her approach to conscious home and lifestyle design involves designing spaces that meet our needs, encourage good habits, bring us closer to our loved ones, and support our health and wellbeing on a mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual level.

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