At the very start of this year, and every year before that for as long as I can remember, I’ve set myself a series of things to achieve for the twelve months ahead. My 17 Goals for 2017 post actually went viral and is one of my most read posts to date, so I knew other people enjoyed setting them as much as I did.

Except I came across an Instagram post a few weeks ago and suddenly my mind set changed.

“We bombard ourselves with stimuli, input, input, input, and we wonder why we’re miserable. We wonder why we’re dissatisfied. We wonder why nothing lasts and everything feels a little hopeless. Because, we have no idea of how to see our lives for what they are, instead of what they aren’t.

The last bit really resonated with me.

For as long as I can remember I’ve been working towards something. I’ve spent the majority of my twenties working hard to reach the next stage of my life and my career. I knew I wanted to become a magazine editor before I was 30 so I worked hard to achieve that. I wanted to win a blogging award and was lucky enough to achieve that. I’ve continued to set myself goals of reaching higher numbers on my social media platforms and attracting a higher volume of traffic to my site. But for what? For a status that is deemed “successful” by others? When did I lose sight of my version of success

I’ve always been so focused on what the future has in store and never really living in the moment, that I forgot to appreciate everything I have in my life right now. It’s sounds a little cliché but I’ve spent so much time chasing the dream, I forgot to actually live it.

Social media has a huge part to play in our generation’s constant need to do everything and be everywhere with everyone. All we see on an hourly basis is post after post of someone buying their first house, getting a promotion, driving a shiny new car or getting invited to amazing events. It’s very easy to think, I need to do that. I need these things in my life. This must be what success is.

Sure, if want those things then work damn hard and achieve away baby. But before you do, sit down and take a look at the life you have. The start of January was a pretty crappy time personally for one reason or another, but it really made me sit up and notice of how many amazing people and things I have in my life. I suddenly found myself feeling pressured when I thought about the goals I’d set out to achieve over the next twelve months, when all I really wanted to do was enjoy the here and now. I didn’t want to think about whether I’d worked on any goals that day, or whether my social media following had increased. I didn’t want to worry about making plans for the weekend in case I had blog posts I had to write.

So I decided to just stop. Stop working towards a never-ending goal. Stop thinking that I wasn’t “successful”. Stop spending so much time worrying about the future and where I should be at what age. And you know what? I feel like a weight’s been lifted off my shoulders. This doesn’t mean I’m going to forget everything I’ve worked hard for and become a couch potato. I’ve still got dreams I want to work on – that innate instinct of needing to achieve is something I was born with – but right now I’m taking the pressure off needing to “succeed” and see my life for what it is, not what it isn’t.

About the author
Victoria is the editor and founder of award-winning interior design blog Apartment Number 4. When she's not scouring Pinterest for the latest in home decor inspiration, she's out shopping trying to recreate the looks herself.


  1. Totally agree with everything you've said here, we see everything on social media and then pile that pressure on ourselves to achieve huge things and try to map out our year ahead, when in reality all we can ever do is take each day as it comes because we truly do not know what will happen next week, things can change in the blink of an eye, so yes, let's still have goals, but remember it's okay to take our foot off the pressure pedal sometimes and enjoy the here and now with our loved ones!!
    Steph x

    1. I'm guilty of chasing numbers and I need to learn to forget what those numbers says and more about the people that ARE reading the post. Thanks for taking the time to comment lovely xx

  2. Love, love, love this post so much Victoria and I'm happy you shared your thoughts on this. I've been going through a tough time at the moment, dealt with loss, my health suffering and at the end of the day – our own happiness and wellbeing is key, not the endless pressure we put on ourselves.

    Be happy 🙂 xx

  3. The same thing happened to me; my 2017 goals post was really popular and for the whole of January I've been pressuring myself to do lots of work to achieve them, but I ended up being burnt out and spending the last couple of weeks recovering. I still like creating goals but I don't think I'd ever do that again! I'm going to take it at my own pace, even if that does mean 5 years down the line.

    Lizzie Bee // hello lizzie bee

    1. I'll never do that again either lovely, it was so just much pressure!! I like mini goals like – go to Pilates this week – and not 17 goals to make me feel like a failure when I can't keep up with them! Thanks for taking the time to comment Lizzie! xx

  4. Fab post Victoria. So much truth.
    Even with having a toddler, I'm very much a person that's always looking to the next thing. I've always said things like 'I can't wait until he can..' and also booking things to do months down the line.
    I think as you say it's so easy to be swept along with government/world/social pressures to do and be a certain way or thing.
    I think setting mini goals etc and then leaving time to relax frees the mind a little more. 🙂


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *