Actually, I really believe in goal-setting. I’ve read studies and surveys on the power of goal-setting. I’ve heard many respectable and amazing people talk about it. But I truly have a love-hate relationship with goals. Since I often think in visuals, right now in my mind I can see Heath Ledger in the movie “A Knight’s Tale.” After he has allowed himself to lose round after round of jousting in order to prove his heart to Jocelyn, the woman he loves—which means he’s beaten up, bruised, bleeding, and in pain—she sends a message that she now wants him to win. The Paul Bettany sidekick character points out that Jocelyn is watching him, and our hero says, “Oh, how I hate her!” It’s a great laugh line, because we all have just witnessed what he was willing to sacrifice to prove his love, but it connects into our own human experiences in so many ways. And so, I respectfully state that I love and respect the need and power of goal-setting. But oh, how I hate it!
Just to give you one example, at the beginning of 2010 I set the goal (and prayed for specific help in this) to be on the path to better health. In that year I had my gall bladder removed, my neck fused with titanium, and a complete double mastectomy. Seriously? Of course, my prayer was answered. God knew my gall bladder was diseased, my neck was about to break, and cancer was brewing, but it was a rough year, and since my health was already teetering at the edge of a cliff, having six surgeries in a year pushed me over the edge and I still haven’t recovered. (Complicated; I would need a power-point demonstration to explain. We’ll just leave it at that for now.)
I know that sometimes, if not often, things have to get worse in order to get better. But after many years of diligent goal-setting and only having life become more difficult, I hardly dare breathe a goal out loud, or heaven forbid, write it down. And so . . . this January of 2016, I have a mental list of things I want to work toward doing better at, and things I want to accomplish. I’m keeping it to myself, which might perhaps keep me from thinking that I might jinx my aspirations somehow.
I have an accountability agreement with Holly and Amanda that I will post on this blog at least once a week, for reasons previously explained. Beyond that, I’m keeping my goals to myself. Still, I want to challenge each of you to consider these questions:
Am I striving to improve my life in the ways that I CAN control?
Am I honestly looking at my situation to assess what needs improvement?
Am I doing all I can, or just waiting around for things to change that won’t change on their own?
What can I work on that is REALISTIC and will really help my circumstances, or help me feel better, even if it’s in tiny increments?
How can I work on improvement without further discouraging myself, especially if I’m prone to depression?
Does it work better for me if I write it down, tell someone I trust who will help keep me accountable, or keep it to myself? If keeping it to yourself will only help you bury something so you don’t have to be accountable, then that’s not the best path.
So, here’s to goal-setting. Cheers! And may we all keep moving forward, even if it takes getting beat up here and there along the way.
Feel free to share your goals in the comment feed below, or just tell us your feelings about goals in general, or . . . whatever.