I believe that quote because it’s worked for me. A written goal – especially if you have it posted where you can see it everyday – becomes a part of the fabric for your day, week, month. It’s always a part of what you carry with you throughout the day so when you’re forced to make a decision you can ask yourself, does this align with my goal?
However, I don’t consider myself a goal-oriented person. In fact, goal-writing has a negative connotation for me; it reminds me of writing quarterly business goals back when I worked in Corporate America. I never really saw the value of them and it always felt like a futile exercise; just something my manager demanded of me. That same dread carried over into personal goal-setting as well, so it’s something I never willingly set out to do – even though I know how powerful it can be.
Then I read an article the other day that resonated with me. Ben Michaelis, PhD, a clinical psychologist in New York City said, “we often set goals but lack a clear idea of what success should look like. So, when we come up short, we feel worthless.”
Yep, I could totally identify with that. I had been there many times.
Then he said, “before you embark on any life changes, outline a range of positive outcomes that could result, and don’t aim for perfection. Nothing in nature is perfect, and when you try to be perfect, you’re typically operating from a place of fear.”
Ok, maybe I was going about this all wrong. Instead of literally checking off every item on my list I should examine the off-shoots and the tangents that resulted as I approached that goal and ask myself, what did I learn?
If I learned something as a result of trying to reach that goal, then it wasn’t a failure and I wasn’t worthless.
So, look back on your goals that never came to be. Did you learn something on the way?
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Post inspired by “The Science of Success” by Jihan Thompson