I’ve been thinking a lot about goals lately. As a mom/teacher/blogger/wife we are told to have goals (well anyone really man, woman, working or SAHM doesn’t matter) and for good reason. Goals help us to focus our energy in a direction towards achieving what we hope to see in our lives. A bigger house, more friends, a larger reading audience, being a bomb.com parent, losing 10 pounds, the next job promotion. All of these are goals that we, as adults, hope to achieve and work to achieve (with like a zillion others).
I have been thinking so much about them for 2 reasons. 1. I am sucky at ENJOYING when I reach one. It could be to lose 5 pounds, to reach a certain engagement limit on social media, help one of my kids “get” something school related that they have been having trouble with. Anything really and when it happens, when that magical moment of reaching said goal occurs I give myself a high five for about 2 seconds and then the pressure is back to make another goal and reach that goal.
It’s happened to me a few times recently and my hubs actually stopped me and said “wait a second, why don’t you just take today and enjoy that you reached that?” And ya know what, he was right (mark it on the calendar, folks! hahaha). I didn’t even realize that I had become someone that worked toward a goal and then didn’t even take the time to appreciate the success of it. There wasn’t the excitement and happiness and soaking in all the good feels of a crossed the finish line moment. It took the hubs waking me up to it to really recognize that I was letting these happy moments pass by. What a shame!
Goals are amazing in that they give us that “eye on the prize” perspective. But be careful you don’t get caught up in the wheel so much that you miss the cheese. The next goal will always be there and waiting so take a minute to enjoy it when you reach one before jumping head first into the next.
So let’s talk about the flip side of goals. Which brings me to 2. I want to reiterate that I am a goal lover but there is a downside to them, at least for me. If I set a goal for myself and don’t reach it in the allotted time frame, I feel like a failure. (There’s that self imposed pressure again!) I didn’t do enough, work hard enough, put in enough time, etc etc. Which isn’t always right. Sometimes it just takes a little longer to get things to come together to help you reach those goals. I end up getting discouraged, turned off and take a step back from it. I have learned to not take the goal achieving SO seriously and that if I don’t reach it in the allotted time frame that’s ok, that it will just take me a little longer to get there.
I have adopted the approach of do my best, work toward that goal and I will achieve it. I am giving myself a break of not always having a time limit because there are goals with variables out of my control. When a goal you have has these variables, it makes it tough to set a time limit to achieving them, because it’s not all up to you. For example, teaching my 4 year old his letters. I can sit with him and teach him but all kids learn at a different rate. If I say, we will know all of your letters within the next 2 days, that puts undo pressure on me and him. How is that helpful to either of us? If he doesn’t make it I will feel like I failed him and he will be disappointed. Where’s the upside here? My son is the variable and he will learn his letters, at his own pace, with me and my cheering him on the whole way. It might take a week or even 2 instead of 2 days but we will get there. Job promotions. You can bust your butt, put in all the extra time, kill every project and still not get promoted when you planned to. Not because you didn’t do your best but because the outside variables (boss, availability of position, competition, etc) are out of your control. It WILL happen but maybe not when you want it too.
Goals are fabulous things, I am a BIG goal’er. Just give yourself some leeway when there are variables that aren’t all in your control and never give up!! Just keep working at them. You will reach them and when you do ENJOY that achievement. Patience and persistence are what make goals possible. Sometimes it’s not all about the destination, but the journey to get there.
That’s your feel good, food for thought, life lesson, it’s a lil deep to read before coffee thought for the day!
Are you a big goals person? Are you able to enjoy them when you reach them? How about if you don’t?
Have a fabulous, rock star, kick some as$ day!