Slice of Sunshine —The Path is the Goal

Many of my coaching clients come to me during a point of transition.

Sometimes the transition has been forced upon them because of a shift in their personal or professional life. Others initiated the change themselves but then lose sight of why they made the change or have become overwhelmed or unmotivated.

Whether by choice or by chance, they are seeking support in both defining what they want next and the path to get there.

Many of us have been trained in the creation of SMART goals and we know that being “specific” and “time-based” is critical to goal setting. Taking it to the next step by defining the “why” of the goal—including exploration into whose values and priorities are being centered in the creation of the goal in the first place—creates alignment and increases the likelihood of reaching the goal.

(Here at the Department of Practical Sunshine we prefer our “SHINY” goal setting model anyways; please see “Try It!” below.)

But just putting some goals down on paper, even ones that follow all “goal setting best practices” may be misconceived.

This looks like a lovely path.

Given that goal setting is central to much of my coaching work it may seem heretical that I actually believe that the path is the goal.*

Despite our ongoing striving to find achievement and make sure our lives have meaning, we are likely missing the point if we do not recognize that the road we are on and therefore every step we take is actually what we are here to do.

Whether you choose to read it as

The PATH is the goal
The path IS the goal
or even
The path is the GOAL

we should remember: do not stop striving, but always return to the value of the journey and the truths that reside there. For that is the goal.

And therefore also the path.

*Of course, many brilliant thinkers, teachers, and writers (Mahatma Gandhi, Chögyam Trungpa, Noah Levine, Jon Kabat Zinn and so many more) have written extensively on this Buddhist concept.

Try it!

SHINY goals

We have shared our SHINY goals before, but as we have seen an uptick in people feeling adrift, we’re going to share them again. We believe they are superior to SMART goals!

SHINY goals > SMART goals
(other) Smart People

“When the path ignites a soul,
there’s no remaining in place.
The foot touches ground,
but not for long.” – Hakim Sanai 


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Try it!