This past year I set three primary goals for myself: a fitness goal, a financial goal and a creative goal.
They were significant goals too (in my opinion) considering I’d never had much (i.e. any) luck achieving anything even remotely close to them before and I devoted nearly 100% of my time working toward them. I had to. I didn’t give myself much/any wiggle room to do otherwise because I knew my track record with goal-setting all too well. If I took my eye off the prize for just one minute I knew what would happen and what always did happen in the past. It simply wasn’t an option this time.
After the year was up (actually, it was more like 10 months) and after successfully achieving all three goals I’ve come to a few conclusions about goal-setting in general.
First, let me clarify a couple of things: A) I definitely expected to have more of a “TA DA!!!” moment on completion, and B) I really expected to have more of a “TA DA!!!” moment on completion!!
I mean, seriously! I worked really hard and relentlessly so!
The TA DA!!! moment never came. I’m still very happy I completed the goals and would definitely do it all over again knowing what I know now but I was more than just a little perplexed by the lackluster finish.
I recently read that as we make progress toward our goals, our goals will continually change. They will increase to become deeper and more meaningful. A good example of this would be the goal to lose weight. As you work toward your goal and once you achieve your goal, you find yourself at a healthier place from where you first began. You’ve lost the weight but now see a bigger prize on the horizon. You’re no longer satisfied with simple weight loss – now you may be considering a 5K or a weight lifting competition. The simple weight loss goal may propel you to set your sights even higher and possibly in a more long-term/life-changing way. And…as an added bonus: we’re no longer left contemplating the question, “now what”.
You begin to see a bigger picture. It’s a picture full of possibilities and one that offers the potential to serve as a jumping off point instead.
And there is something really intriguing about having a goal out there on the horizon waiting for us; something new to set our sights on, just barely out of reach, but not too far – so that we have to stretch a bit further, focus, plan and get excited about something once again.
In retrospect, there really is no reason to celebrate with a TA DA!!! moment as if it’s the big finale; instead of the usual, “now what” we could say, “what next?” and start making plans – reminding us, yet again, that it truly is all about the journey.
The art of living does not consist in preserving and clinging to a particular mode of happiness, but in allowing happiness to change its form without being disappointed by the change; happiness, like a child, must be allowed to grow up. –Charles L. Morgan