My Goals (or Lack Thereof) for 2015

My Goals (or Lack Thereof) for 2015

Written by Emilie

Topics: Goals

I’ve restarted this post about half a dozen times now.

I’m having a difficult time describing my goals for 2015, and I think that’s because I’ve been feeling a need lately to NOT plan. I’m more interested in listening to my gut, pushing myself into new realms, and being flexible when opportunities and challenges present themselves. This is the direction that I’ve been moving in over the last several months, and I want to continue down this path.

Certainties and Uncertainties

I don’t know what 2015 will look like, but there are a few things that I’m fairly certain of. I know that I’ll be spending a good portion of the year out in the wilderness. I know that I will be launching a new course in February and running another Multi-Passionate Must-Haves sale in May. I know that I will be finishing my book proposal and seeking out an agent.

That’s about all I know for sure. I don’t know how much time I will spend in the wild. I don’t even know where I will be in a year, but I’m not letting the uncertainty upset me.

My girlfriend will be graduating from grad school in May and applying for artist residency programs all over the country. I could end up with her in the Bay Area, I could spend eight months in Provincetown, or head to the Glacier National Park. Each option sounds magical in its own way. But since this is largely out of my control, I’m staying focused on my own quest for now.

Themes for 2015

Instead of setting strict goals for the new year, here are some themes that I see being relevant for me in 2015.

Courage: pushing myself into new realms, living life in a way that feels right to me, even if others don’t understand. The rebellious streak I described in my last post.

Flexibility: going with the flow. Not structuring every hour of every day. Taking things as they come. Changing direction as often as necessary and not worrying about it. Learning new skills and making sure to acknowledge my progress.

Simplicity: More time doing “human” activities like hiking and building fires. Slowing down, reading, playing music, and making art. Cutting ties with as many big corporations as possible, buying less and breaking free from the force inside that wants to acquire objects rather than experiences. Focusing on the projects that matter, spending less time on Facebook.

Independence: putting my needs first, learning how to solve challenges on my own, but also asking for help when necessary.

Mindfulness: getting out of my head and into my body. Meditation, yoga, recognizing my “anxiety voice” when it starts speaking and learning to refocus and feel strong and resourceful again.

Thinking Bigger: not putting bigger bloggers and authors on pedestals, but thinking of them as colleagues. Putting myself out there and going for greater opportunities, recognizing impostor syndrome for what it is.

I’m not entering the new year with the drive and clarity that I usually have in January. Right now I feel more a sense of curiosity and excitement. But that’s okay. I’ll fill in the details as I go.

Your Turn

What are your plans or themes for 2015? How much are you planning and how much are you leaving open?

em_bioEmilie Wapnick is the Founder and Creative Director at Puttylike, where she helps multipotentialites integrate ALL of their interests into their lives. Unable to settle on one path herself, Emilie studied music, art, film production and law, graduating from the Law Faculty at McGill University. She is an occasional rock star, a paleo-friendly eater and a wannabe scientist carpenter. Learn more about Emilie here.


  1. Cath says:

    This is a great idea :) good luck with it all!

  2. Helen says:

    I love your themes, Emilie! Please keep us updated :)

  3. Yael says:

    Sounds to me like a great way to approach a new year, and I like your theme-goals very much!

    I just wrote about my own goals/thoughts for the new year a few days ago:

  4. shreen says:

    Not having concrete plans can feel so counter-intuitive to obsessive planners, but it will bring about a different kind of personal progress and contentedness.

    When I deliberately don’t create goals or plan my days, I often find my mind freeing up, becoming more creative and more easily stimulated. You’ve probably read this already, but if not, it’s what inspired me to stop being so strict about my goal setting:

    • Emilie says:

      I actually saw Leo speak about that at WDS about 3 years ago and at the time I thought he was dead-wrong. Now I totally get it and agree. :)

      I do think you need to go through the process of having goals first, before you can ditch ’em productively. Seems like a natural progression though.

  5. Jen says:

    I like how you organized your goals into categories and didn’t make them too specific, that leaves a lot of room for being human! Yeah don’t put other blogs on pedasals, especially because your blog is awesome, it’s my favorite blog.

  6. Beka says:

    …you may like to look at Lisa’s post for today >> << I read it and thought of your thoughts on what you are feeling right now…

  7. Sherab-Leigh says:

    Hi Emilie and friends, love your themes, feel very inspired to have themes interlaced with goals – many thanks ;)

    Some of my theme-vibes are
    Focus, Self-discipline, Courage, Play!, less anxiety!, more breathing!!! , aiming to feel less stifled and way more fluid.

    Going to feel it out a bit more and interweave them with my goals/intentions for this year.

    Hugs to all! Be well!

  8. Andy says:

    Love these themes Emilie. Really nice. Funnily enough my ‘goals’ for this year are tied into similar things – simplicity/essentialism, slowing down, allowing myself to breathe through life, and play with my art with less expectation and no objective. I have been guilty of ‘doing art’ in order to create a product. This year is about exploration and play.

  9. Rob F. says:

    Well, I have one “umbealla” thing going on for the year and one event on the horizon.

    The “umbrella” think is the Shameless Challenge, started by a lady who goes by “Shameless Maya” in 2012. It’s a year-long exercise in self-promotion, even if you don’t (think you) have anything to promote. 10 tweets and 3 Instagram photos daily; four blog updates weekly; one YouTube video fortnightly (with the aim of moving it to weekly). It’s getting me moving on my web comic!

    The event is Tropicon, my city’s first ever pop-culture convention. It’s on the day of my birthday, so I’m going to rock along.

  10. Margaux says:

    Happy new year, Emilie. Nice to hear that you’re going with themes instead of specific goals. (Discussion from PuttyTribe: do multipotentialites have more difficulty sticking with goals than others?)

    Myself, I took up the idea of themes or filters last year through a filmmaking workshop, but I see it applying to every area of my life. So I picked 5 filters that define all of my ideal projects and I think I’ll simply start making sure I look for those themes no matter what I’m doing. I’m going to explore how I can apply these themes/filters even with my full-time work, some of which has been boring me. How can I find ways to apply ingenuity, differentiation, exploration, agility, and shibumi in recurring work? Challenging, but will likely help make getting to work every day easier!

    Happy 2015!

  11. Tracy says:

    Sounds like you’ve got a great year planned Emilie!

    Your list reminds me of how Benjamin Franklin planned his year. He’d choose (if I remember correctly) 13 ideals/virtues that he wanted to be living and then focused on one a week going through all thirteen before starting over again. By the end of the year, he’d have focused on each ideal for four weeks.

    I think we can get too bogged down in making goals specific and targeted with expectations and deadlines that we stop being human.

    Happy New Year!

  12. Megan says:

    Bravo Emilie for everything you’ve done and are doing.
    My favorite part of your post? “Doing more human things like hiking and building fires”.

    I joined the Putty Tribe last fall. I just entered my first huddle yesterday morning. And, I began the commitment to blog (consistently) every Thursday. Here’s today’s post:

    It’s probably got all sorts of things “wrong” with it; like not enough SEO, not good tagging, not good categories, not good writing.

    But you know what? I did it. And as each Thursday comes and goes, I will have posted another and another.

    My goal for 2015? To trust that what I’m doing matters and to find ways for people to hear what I’m saying.

    Thanks again.

  13. April says:

    Emilie, have you read “Essentialism” by Greg McKeown? I just started reading it and would love to explore how essentialism and multipotentialism could intersect and benefit each other. Also, a couple of years ago I heard creativity described as not coming up with lots of ideas, but knowing which ideas to say no to. It’s all connected!

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