Laptop on a wooden table

Go for the Goal Posts!

Do you remember that scene in You’ve Got Mail, where
Meg Ryan waxes poetic over the smell of newly sharpened pencils in the fall? I
think we all remember those days of fresh crisp books and new beginnings, so goal
setting
…it seems like a fitting topic. What better time to sit down and
scope out where you’re headed and how to get there?

 

DREAM IT, THEN DO IT.If it feels a little overwhelming, never fear. Free worksheets are a great jumping off place. Most organizational gurus suggest
starting with broad brush strokes, thinking of the big picture. I more often
begin with my daily list, however. When it’s a little too long, a few lines get
relegated to a weekly or monthly list. I don’t know…I just find cleaning the
basement
a migraine in the making. I look at all the boxes and suddenly I
am distinctly unwell. Unfit. Nope! Not happening. Opening a box is much
more doable, and I can do that any Thursday. Monday’s no good. Um, Tuesday is a
day of recuperation. Wednesday is so dismal. Yes, it’s definitely a Thursday
thing. And thus my goals somehow transcend the unthinkable to become real
things.

The bottom line? You can start from either the broad picture
or the little item on a list, but start somewhere! Before you’re done, think of
where you want to be in one year, and maybe five years. Do you want to be in
the same field? Doing the same job? Living in the same place? These
uncomfortable questions shape our futures, and I am a firm believer in shaping
your own destiny.

The alternative is a life of least resistance. I subscribe
more to the idea of Shoot for the moon. If you don’t reach it you’ll land
among the stars
. Is that how it even goes? You get the idea. This
philosophy jettisoned me into the life of a serial entrepreneur and I
experience no regrets. I don’t have the money I’d have accrued if I’d stayed
within my profession, but the rich tapestry of life experience is worth so much
more.

It was Albert Einstein who said, “If you want to live a
happy life, tie it to a goal, not people or things.” He was right. The best
goals include ways in which we might better not just our own lives, but the
lives of those we love. Sometimes that means rethinking a job: it’s a means to
an end. Who cares if you’re a butcher, a baker or a candlestick maker? If your
life finances your life with loved ones, the goal’s been met. More often than
not we work to finance the life we want, rather than tying identity, time, fame
and fortune to “being something”. There’s nothing wrong with that.

Just be smart about it, okay? Do set goals. Do be specific. Do choose goals for which your
motivation ensures success. Don’t be the falling leaf. Be the wind that steers
your life where you want to be. Goal setting works.