Do less but better. An alternative to hustle and grind.
Waves of motivation and ambition are normal. But like the tide, they come and go.
I feel it too. A desire to do ALL the things. I want to step into challenges and see what I’m capable of. To push boundaries, test my limits, and find out what my true potential is.
- exercise more
- eat healthier
- spend more time with family and friends
- spend less time on social media
- learn a language
- write more
- read more
- meditate more
The list could go on and on. Eventually becoming too overwhelming to deal with. Thus, nothing gets done. The year is a wash and we repeat the process next year.
If you’re like me, you love setting goals and getting shit done. You’re ambitious and always striving to be better. But is our ambition and desire for more and better leaving us overwhelmed, underperforming, and feeling bad about it?
- When is enough?
- When will be satisfied?
If we’re constantly trying to do more and be better. We’ll never be happy with what we have. We’ll miss out on opportunities to reflect on our past and appreciate where we are now.
When we’re so focused on the future, constantly chasing far-off goals. We’ll struggle to live in the present.
It’s like chasing the horizon
“We step outside our doors and take a look far in front of us, our eyes following the earth until it turns to the sky. From our vantage point, the horizon seems like a fixed point. Someplace we can physically get to. If only we start walking.” – Nate Green
But instead of getting closer, the horizon moves further and further away. Leaving us frustrated and exhausted.
Instead of chasing multiple horizons this year, what if we did something different. Instead of setting multiple goals and striving for more.
What if we do less but better?
Do less but better
What if we dropped all of our goals and instead focused on pairing down our lives to the simple and essential things that matter most – forgetting about the rest?
I don’t know what that looks like for you. But for me, when I think about it – I can’t help but ask what brings real value to my life?
- getting outside and going on walks every day
- strength training 2 to 3 times per week
- eating simple meals mostly made up of lean protein, vegetables, and fruit
- reading a few pages each day
- writing a few words each day
- connecting with people I care about each day
- automatically saving a percentage of my income each month (10, 20, 50% – whatever I can do)
- doing nothing but breathing for a few minutes each day.
What if I focus on these 8 things this year and forget about everything else?
No goals or expectations around outcomes for them. Only taking action with them, reflecting regularly, and asking how each of them is working for me? Are they helping me or hindering me? Do I need to adjust?
Does this mean you should never set goals? Should you not have a weight loss goal, to try and quit smoking, or to save or earn a certain amount of money?
Goals can be an important part of our lives, but I’m beginning to think that goals are overrated. We’ve oversimplified them by thinking that if we do more of X, we’ll eventually get to Y.
So instead, I’m going to take what limited time, energy, and focus I have on doing less, but better. By concentrating on taking action and building better habits around the 8 things that add value to my life. I’m confident I’ll end up achieving more and feeling better about it.
I have no endpoint with these practices. There’s no horizon I’m looking to reach. My only goal with them is that they’re never over. I do them more often than I don’t. Making sure to stop along the way, peer over my shoulder, and honor how far I’ve come.