A Year Without Goals

Posted on December 31st, 2017 by admin


This past year, I decided to try out an experiment where I eliminated setting any personal or professional #goals.

That’s right, 2017 was a year without goals.

There was not a single goal that I put pressure on myself to achieve. Instead, this past year was all about letting go of always trying to control every outcome in my life, and instead trusting the process and enjoying the journey of daily positive choices and micro-wins.

2017 was also a year of monumental mindset shift. I combed my brain carefully to find and eliminate nearly every self-limiting belief I held. I worked hard on building #resiliency, #mentaltoughness, and #grit, paired with oodles of #self-compassion, #curiosity, #kindness, and #love.

What guided my decisions for 2017 was a #map I created about 5 main areas of my life where I wanted my values to shine through. This roadmap is strategically located by my bedside, and I look at it every morning and night to use as my compass to help guide my actions and decisions.

My Values & Roadmap

Mental Health:

  • Feel happy and healthy most of the time
  • Feel engaged with my work, but not overly-stressed
  • Know that what I do is making a positive impact in this world

Physical Health:

  • Regular exercise
    • CrossFit 5-6x/week
  • Regular physical activity
    • weekend hikes (lots of nature)
    • yoga
    • x-country skiing / downhill skiing
    • house cleaning
    • gardening
    • walks outdoors
  • Few illnesses
  • Sleep ~ 8 hours/night


  • Have a happy, loving, supportive, and fun marriage
  • Close with my family (regular visits)
  • Surround myself with inspiring people who bring me up, discuss big ideas, challenge me to grow, love and support me
  • Let go of negative individuals, forgive and release bullies

Personal Improvement:

  • Always seek to be better
  • But also be content with who I am right now
  • Lots of reading and space for self-development
  • Work with a coach/mentor (business, life)


  • Live within my means
  • Save 30%+ of my income
  • Invest wisely: have money that works for me, even on days I don’t work
  • Have few “assets” that drain my bank account
  • Work a 6-8 hour productive work day


This past year was all about focusing on consistent positive action, supported by a healthy routine, with zero pressure to achieve any “goals” within a specific timeframe, which resulted in my BEST YEAR YET that was fun, happy, healthy, and low stress!

Without any serious expectations of myself, I was delighted and surprised to reflect on how 2017 went without goals.

CROSSFIT WORKOUTS: Out of curiosity I asked my CrossFit coach how many times I checked-in to the gym for a workout, and found out my yearly total was 260 CrossFit workouts. Add in the hiking, long dog walks, skiing, yoga, gardening and other physical activity I enjoy doing, and that number is well above 300 active days of the year, which is pretty cool.

MEDITATION: According to my Headspace account, I checked in for a total of 219 meditation sessions this past year, simply by committing to the process of using meditation and breath whenever I felt like I needed to slow down, ground myself, and take a moment to pause.

HOME-COOKED MEALS: My husband and I shared 312 home-cooked healthy dinners, mainly because of the help in meal planning from Chef’s Plate. (We get 6 meals delivered to our doorstep each week with fresh ingredients and a recipe card to help us cook a healthy, homemade meal from scratch each night.)

BOOKS: I read 45+ outstanding books last year, mostly by enjoying the activity of daily reading or listening to audio books for 20-30 minutes each day. (The discovery of Libby, a free book-borrowing app from my local public library was a game-changer!)

  1. Tools of Titans
  2. Essentialism
  3. Think and Grow Rich
  4. Profit First
  5. Present Over Perfect
  6. Make Your Bed
  7. The Book of Joy
  8. Start With Why
  9. The Road to Character
  10. The Pumpkin Plan
  11. 10% Happier
  12. 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do
  13. Why We Buy
  14. Superfreakonomics
  15. The 5 Love Languages
  16. Year of Yes
  17. The 4-Hour Workweek
  18. The Happiness Project
  19. Happier at Home
  20. The Millionaire Next Door
  21. Drive
  22. Never Split the Difference
  23. When to Rob a Bank
  24. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*CK
  25. Smarter Faster Better
  26. Rising Strong
  27. Resilience
  28. Influence
  29. Whole
  30. Get Organized the Clear & Simple Way
  31. The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up
  32. Chop Wood and Carry Water
  33. The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing
  34. Awaken the Giant Within
  35. Anything You Want
  36. Ego is the Enemy
  37. The Obstacle is the Way
  38. Spark Joy
  39. Stumbling on Happiness
  40. Surge
  41. The Time Paradox
  42. The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
  43. 438 Days: An Extraordinary True Story of Survival at Sea
  44. Decisive
  45. Unshakable


PROFESSIONAL SUCCESS: Without even making this a huge priority, a number of wonderful professional accomplishments fell into place this past year. I won the Excellence in Teaching Award as a university instructor at Brescia by focusing on being the best teacher I could be to my students. I became certified as a Precision Nutrition Level 1 Coach. I attended Business Mastery to learn business skills directly from Tony Robbins. I sold out every single time slot I offered this past year for 1-on-1 nutrition counselling, simply by focusing on giving my clients the best possible service and support I could deliver to them to help them achieve success.

Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certification


RELATIONSHIPS: The intangibles I can’t count are the number of face-to-face visits, phone calls, FaceTime, tea dates, text messages, laughter, meals shared, and other fun activities spent with family and friends to build and nurture the most important relationships in my life.

My year without goals was such a huge success, not only in that I still “accomplished” great things, but that the stress and pressure melted away because the clarity for what was truly important and needed to be done was so apparent.

A few powerful quotes especially guided my choices this past year.

“Less, but better.”

“Be present, over perfect.”

“Everyone wants to be great, until it’s time to do what greatness requires.”

“Take off the training wheels. Focus on true mental toughness. Focus on commitments and controllables, since you can’t control the results anyway. Love people. Serve people. Provide value. Burn your goals. Fall in love with the process of becoming great.”


So, dear friends and readers, as our calendar flips over to a New Year, full of promises of a new-and-improved you, are you interested in trying a little experiment?

Can you make this next year a year without goals, but not without direction?

Build a roadmap based on your most cherished values, for the life you want to create for yourself.
Burn your goals.
Let go of the outcome.
Have more adventures.
Re-invest in the process of greatness.
Commit daily.
Trust the process.
See what grows from tiny acts of greatness, repeated daily.



Jennifer Broxterman, MSc, RD
Registered Dietitian & Sports Nutritionist
Professional nutrition counselling services in London, Ontario, Canada.


To learn more about how we approach nutrition coaching here at NutritionRx, read more here: http://www.nutritionrx.ca/services-rates/weight-loss/