After asking in multiple workshops if people had personal or professional goals, just as a side question, and getting only one or two people to raise their hands, I started teaching a goal-setting workshop. It occurred to me that people might be mixing up goals and tasks. Tasks are what you do to make the goal happen. The goal is the big kahuna. The achievement that you are striving towards. Of course YOU know this, but what I see is that people think that goals can happen quickly, or are to do items, and they aren't.
What is a Goal?
I think about goals as destinations. They are where I want to go personally, professionally, with my health, in my relationships and spiritually. They are where the flag will be planted and I can say I have arrived.
Do You Need Goals?
I lived for a long time without goals. Most of my 20's were spent just trying to figure out how to be a mom, work in my field and get dressed everyday in a way that was publicly acceptable. We were making it, but barely. We got tossed around by emergencies, events and whatever was the problem of the day. We weren't planning for anything at all. We were just surviving.
Most people live this way. They are just making it day by day. Even if they have corporate jobs, good families and seem like capable people. They have no plan for what they want and they are just coasting around. I know because I ask. I ask everyone what their goals are and more often than not they either don't have any, are too embarrassed to say what they are or they say they are just trying to get by. I get that. I was there too. Life is hard. It throws stuff at you that you haven't planned for -- good and bad. You react and react to the point that reaction is your only "go to" for survival. You can't have goals because you are too busy reacting to all the stuff flying at you all the time.
It Doesn't Have To Be That Way
You can start living with a little intention. You don't have to be a reactionary machine and instead can start to live a thoughtful and, hopefully, a little more balanced life. You start with one or two goals and work towards them. Seeing the success, you will most likely want to try adding a few more. When life gives you options you will be able to judge those options based on the goals that you have set.
Originally published on JacquelineWolven.com