Dreams? Goals? Action Plans? Yes, yes and yes. I LOVE the concept of a blank slate so much that I am giddy when I hang a new calendar each January 1st. This year I have become more aware that being driven by my dreams, goals and plans is something that I must handle with extreme caution. I can so easily go overboard on this and I have recently learned a few things about myself. Here are some ideas that I am in the process of implementing to keep my goal oriented self balanced.
- Do not allow your goals to torment you. They are YOUR goals and if they need to be modified then adjust right away as many times as necessary. Amend your goals and action plans until they fit into your real life. They should challenge you but not discourage you from continuing to move forward. Regardless of how slow you move…..forward is still forward! Don’t beat yourself to a bloody pulp and then quit.
- Keep your dreams, goals and action plan in perspective. I never hear Carrie Underwood’s song, So Small, without realizing anew that the mountains I am climbing are just a grain of sand. What I’ve been out there searching for forever……is in my hands.
- Do write you goals down and check in on them often but don’t obsess over them. If you set goals and write them down you are ahead of most. If you obsess over goals and the action plans you’ve set in motion to achieve them you can miss the forest for the trees. Be flexible and have your eyes open for the most important things. A neighbor in need or a kid who needs a hug….a little longer hug than the usual. Sadly, our action plans can prevent us from noticing opportunities that were not specifically on today’s to do list.
People who take the time and energy to set goals are people who want to live well. We don’t want to waste the life we’ve been given. We want to be good stewards of our gifts, time, money and energy. Yet I find that the very practices I implement to ensure that I’m intentional with my resources can back fire and create debilitating discouragement. Ironically….an hour spent deeply discouraged rather than being deeply grateful produces the exact opposite of what I hoped to achieve. Rather than waste the time I have spent feeling discouraged I have decided to learn from it. I will snap out of it and adjust. I will modify the goals and amend them to include incremental steps rather than an all or nothing approach.