Anti-Goals, Part Deux

Comedy and Tragedy, Which is Which?

Ya know, I think I really got me onto something with those Anti-Goals from my last post. I wrote mostly in jest, but then again, not really, as those are behaviors and thoughts that I struggle with and it was good to name them with high irony. And while I don’t think I’m alone in my difficulties, I must work through them alone in person in realtime in this life.


What’s that quote about happy and unhappy families? Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy, first line…. Being “unhappy” in one’s own way, even if it seems mundane, means needing singularly specific “happiness apps” as remedies, which requires close and personal attentiveness.

Point is, once one knows one’s devil-enemies, the playing field and/or battleground cannot help but change as well. And that, too, demands a tricky and confusing mobility of soul, not to mention of thought and behavior.

No wonder it’s so hard to attempt to change for the better! Everything is changing anyway, my mind, my mood, my give-a-shit…what the hell does it take? How, oh how, to sustain Positive Change through All Change? I loosely quote the insightful potter Annie Chrietzberg, “What don’t you get about the change-yness of change?” Exactly.

Well, I get that I am a Contrarian. I get that I need to take on both sides – the Either/Or – before I resolve to the Both/And or The Third….which brings actual change to sticky places. Once The Third is perceived, duality crumbles and all manner of 4ths, 5ths, 6ths…..Infinite-ths arise. It gets juicyfun again, too.

Continuing in the vein I started last post, I need to counter those snarky S.M.A.R.T. goals, whose very left-brain linear clarity propels me smack into petulant inaction.

I tried making my Anti-Goals S.M.A.R.T. by identifying their Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound components. That led to Action Items like this one: Raise FreeCell Win Percentage from 34% to 35% by end of the week. What a beautifully written goal, but just as unmotivating as any.

Instead, I found it edifying, even cleansing, to propose S.T.U.P.I.D. goal criteria and here they are:

S.T.U.P.I.D. Criteria

S = Self-Sabotaging
T = Time-wasting
U = Unhealthy
P = Punitive
I = Impossible
D = Diffuse

This is my happiness app, doing things like this – though it is ultimately about the liberation of getting out by going through.

I pretty much find both the S.M.A.R.T. and S.T.U.P.I.D. criteria examples of the Either/Or camp and now that they’re resolved a tad – because I am more aware of what I want and of what I don’t want to aim for – I get to boogie around in the Both/And arena hopefully discovering what I truly need to do, be, attract, attain and what discipline and order I need to bring to those practices and tasks. If that’s what I get out of this, great, but if I get something else, I’ll deal.

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8 thoughts on “Anti-Goals, Part Deux

  1. oh, honey, you didn’t have to change it. I can be prickly at times, I guess, anyone could be. I tried to write my comment in a playful tone of voice, which of course can’t come across in type. Your work is cool and is in the same vein as some of my favorite artists here in TX. Check out the Eye of the Dog art Center in San Marcos. I think if you went there that it would feel like home.
    Rough times? Just grin & bear it and let them exfoliate your aura, right? Things do get better, and if you’re lucky they get way better!

  2. Hey Annie! You most certainly are a sweetheart and I completely enjoy your work and writing and teaching. I don’t mean to offend you! It’s hard to recall why I used that word, maybe it was a bad attempt at humor, as in curmudgeons unite and all that….I was feeling pretty irritated at things at that point myself. I adored your saying about the changeyness of change and that was the point…
    If you look at the post, I took out that prickly word because it certainly was impacting my main meaning.
    I’m stuck here in California and I would SO want to take a class from you!
    Sorry for the confusion and your rough time… I wish you all the best. Thanks for your kind words about my work!
    XOXO, Liz

  3. Why you gotta quote me and call me prickly? I ain’t prick-like, I was just having a rough time.
    Love your adventurous work.

  4. Hi Lisa,
    Thanks for taking the time to read my blog posts. I have SO needed to demon-wrangle with these ideas in order to get settled down enough to write authentic goals. I believe in goals too and I was initially surprised to see how irritated I was at the prospect of generating some. All I am asking me, perhaps for the first time, is to write the truth and not just what I think sounds good or fits a program or gets the approval of others. The way out is through and I am happy to report I feel less cranky about the topic now! See you in the conspiratorial soup.

  5. Your anti goals posts are interesting Liz. I keep a Not To Do List (just wrote a post about it on my blog yesterday) and find it extremely helpful in saying NO to the things that distract me.

    Although, as you know from the conspiracy, I believe in goals. I think they are powerful – I strongly believe in the Law of Attraction and the more clear visualize my future, the more likely it will happen.

    Writing stuff down can be scary – the commitment, etc. But I think it is also very powerful and naming ones power is a pretty bold step.

  6. You make an interesting point on the S.T.U.P.I.S Criteria.

  7. I had an unbucket list, and still do. Something about the bucket list annoys me, but things I will never have to do is a comforting thought. I had to move a few things off the list when I found out I had to do them. That was a big disappointment, but not too big in the scheme of things.

    goals, ungoals — i have some, in my head, I never write them down.
    I rejoined so now I have to do more research, but only for the next 3 months, and that should do it.
    I’d like to learn photoshop this year.
    Practice the uke daily, make it to the gym 3 x a week, all the good stuff I enjoy.Get acupuncture from Jessica, Now I just wrote some down. See you Monday.

    1. Sharon, LOVE the UnBucket List! I will send links to these two blog posts about NOT making Goal Lists at all…..more about doing just what you describe: having things in your head. That’s where I’m headed….pun intended!

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