Setting Goals for Success…or is it success to achieve your goals…

Now before we go forward, I don’t want you to read this as negativity. We all know how much of it is out there and I am not trying to add to it. This is more of an intellectual discussion I had with myself about why I never seem to reach my goals. It may sound/read negative to start, but if you read through the rest of it (yes, all the way to the end) then perhaps you will find it more positive as well as a worthwhile read. So here goes.

January is as good a time as any other to go back and review things in one’s life. A chance to see where one has once been, to make some changes, or plans and have another go at things. Some of these things are the same, just a different context and others are new ventures. I would like to focus, for a moment, on new ventures, because I think that being a new year, so many people set goals for new ones. That is good. Sometimes, it is even needed. My only suggestion (learned the hard way of course) is to make sure that all those old goals and ventures from the year before that may have been left un-accomplished are finished or easily thrown away first. Anytime a new venture is started, you don’t want old baggage weighing you down, causing you to lose momentum.

With that being said, I would like to go back to old goals of years past which have been lurking in the shadows, either forgotten, misplaced or simply set aside in favor of the bright new shiny toys (read goals) to be had. There are the usual; lose weight, get fit, eat better yada yada yada…Then there are others, ones that get renewed every year ( or every other) that never seem to get quite accomplished. Lessons to better ourselves, to go on that trip you’ve always wanted to take, to put yourself out there a little more than is comfortable.

There is nothing wrong with any of the above. Except that I see so many people fail. There are some successes of course-and I will get to those later–but for most of us, we fail to achieve these goals. Let me repeat that, WE FAIL. Not because the goals are insurmountable. Some are not even that large. They can be quite simple. But for some reason, we cannot seem to quite get there.

So what is the problem? Why do we keep failing? The answer is quite simple, and yet very hard to do. The answer, is that we fail to set our goals according to our current circumstances. For instance, If we set a goal to go to Europe for a week-long vacation in the summer, it sounds great and fun. Like something that can easily be done. A question that should be asked before setting this goal, is, if I want to go to Europe for a week this summer (6 months away) will it be possible to afford it? Get time off of work? Have someone over to house sit, etc. I made a plan to go on a group trip to Greece 3 years ago with 3 of my friends and you guess what? It never happened. Why? because we had a goal to do something but didn’t think of everything that would be needed to attain this goal. We didn’t have the money, we couldn’t co-ordinate our schedules, we didn’t plan it out. So, in the end, we didn’t go. You need a plan people!

Not for everything, of course. After all, you don’t want to kill the spontaneity of a given moment, but you want to be able to have those moments. So, you have to plan. Note, I am using a vacation to far off lands because at some point a lot of people plan on at least one big trip in their life. So below are some questions that should be asked:

Am I financially in a spot to go on a big trip in 6 months?                                                            Am I able to go in 6 months?                                                                                                                     Is everyone involved able to go at that same time?                                                                            Is there anything special we will need for the destination we are traveling?

If the answer is YES to all of the above, then great, you will be able to go at your designated time and much love to you. However, if you are like me and all my other working poor friends, you might need to revise.

Money is always a big one, but perhaps the goal can be to save up/earn enough money to get you there the year after. Sometimes, vacations cannot be had when you want to go, so perhaps you can bargain with the employer a year in advance for that time off vs the 6 month notice you might be asking for (yes, a whole year in advance–I have an employer who likes to ask us to give him our request for the whole year at the start of January and sometimes even the end of December)-in addition this gives everyone a chance in the group to plan. And lastly, special items. Can we talk about vaccines? language classes. Bikinis? You get my drift, at least I hope you do. No land mass hopping without the proper planning.

I think somewhere in all this writing my point got lost so here it is again: When setting a goal, in order to be successful, you need to first take stalk, plan and then, if necessary revise and lastly and the most fun part, implement it. If your goals are out of sink of where you are at or able to get accomplished, you will fail. Instead of that, set goals you can achieve. Start out small if you have to, and then grow bigger.

My goal is to become a better and more consistant blogger/writer. I can say I am going to sit down and write an award winning novel in one weekend, however, I know myself a little better that that. So I am starting small. Really small. Like as in 15 minutes a day, I have time to write, and there is at least once a week that I can post. Then when I can do that consistantly, I can do a little more, but never not so much that I feel overwhelmed or out of control and anxiety ridden over something that should be fun. I too want to be successful.

So, I will be here 15 minutes at a time.

If you are working on your new year’s goals, tell me about them. I would love to hear what people are doing!

Hit me up-reply here, or catch me in a tweet @ordinarilyjustme

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