Ah, goal setting. It’s something that we’ve always been taught as good practice & we all know that setting goals for ourselves is extremely important for continued success & personal growth.
Truth is: I’m not a fan of goal setting. This is because I always have high expectations for myself, set big goals for myself, then perseverate on making sure I achieve those goals. Which seems all fine & dandy, but when I work myself to exhaustion & don’t even end up achieving those goals, it’s very disappointing. What I’ve learned along the way, is that you have to make sure you are setting the right goals for yourself & approaching them the right way. I never really thought there was a “right” or a “wrong” way to set goals. Goals are goals.. right?
Going into 2018, I had so many big goals for myself. I’ve mentioned this before many, many times. If you haven’t already, feel free to read My journey from a struggling high school student to starting my own business, First month of entrepreneurship & Gaining confidence to be my true, authentic self! I had no reason to believe I was not going to achieve all of them because they seemed completely reasonable & achievable. I ended up reaching NONE of my goals that I set for myself. None. I let the stress of constantly worrying about & stressing over achieving those goals that I kind of just let it control me. I let it completely take over everything, completely fogging my vision. Especially my happiness & mental health. The constant perseveration lead me on a long road to accomplishing nearly nothing.
Towards the end of 2018, I started thinking: “Why am I setting goals if I can’t achieve them?” Maybe I should just stop setting goals for myself because I just get down on myself when I don’t achieve them.” During this time, someone also said something to me that really got me thinking. “You are making goals that are not in your control. You need to break those goals down into smaller goals that are in your control.” Honestly, that makes so much sense. I have been focusing so hard on goals that are ultimately not in my control, like finding a job. That decision is ultimately not in my control, but the little things building up to that decision are in my control. Seems like an obvious, but sometimes it takes a learning that for myself to really understand it.
Going into 2019, I knew that I had to make a change and approach my goals a little differently. It’s not that I didn’t want to set out to achieve anything, because there was so much that I still wanted to achieve. But, I didn’t want to go down the same path. Instead of setting concrete goals and setting “New Year’s Resolutions”, my main goal going into 2019 was: Achieve Happiness. I really just wanted to take everything that I’ve learned the last couple years, all the lessons learned & focus solely on making sure I’m happy.
It’s only April of 2019 & I’ve pretty much accomplished all of the goals I failed to achieve in all of 2018. I had set out to achieve all the things I wanted last year, but this year I didn’t put all the pressure on myself to achieve those things.
I started seeing success when I just stopped letting my goals control my mind. I started achieving my goals when I shifted my focus away from constantly being worried about achieving those said goals. The goals were still there, but the stress & pressure on myself to achieve those goals were not. I wanted to let the universe do it’s thang and guide me to where I’m supposed to be. Take it one day at a time. Learn my lessons as I go. Adjust when I need to.
I have taken the stress off of myself to achieve all those “big” goals. Instead of focusing on a timeline and when I want to achieve those big goals, I’m taking it one day at a time. Believe it or not, big things are happening. Every day I am learning about new opportunities & I’m growing more than I ever knew I could without constantly being worried about “goals”.
Some might think that focusing on happiness, rather than setting concrete goals might be me being naïve to the realities. But, sometimes you have to make adjustments when things aren’t working. My goals weren’t working for me, so what’s the best thing to do when something isn’t working? Try something else.
At the end of the day, we all need to be setting goals for ourselves. They are great & it feels great when you achieve them. Goals themselves are great, but the stress & pressure on ourselves is not. Those big goals are still there and I know that I will achieve them when it’s time. For now, I’m focusing on one day at a time, focusing on the tasks that I’m in control of in the present moment.
When you focus on what you are in control of, it opens your eyes to a whole new world of opportunities!