Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Goal Setting

When I graduated from high school, I had some distorted views on the world, and life. I thought I could control everything that happened to me. I thought I would finish college in 4 years, be engaged my last semester, get married a year later, and have my first kid at 25 (not pregnant at 25, birth during my 25th year). Career? Never thought about it. Didn't care. Was I serious? Totally. Is this what caused me to almost have a breakdown at 21 when I realized that it would take me 2 extra years to graduate from university with no marriage prospects? Absolutely.
Looking back now, I realize this: I was never taught how to set goals. And part of that was because I didn't really believe in them. But I think in my wise old age (yes, I just celebrated a half birthday), I have finally discovered the purpose, and strategy behind them. I used to feel like if I made a goal, I was obligated to fulfill it, and stay focused on it even if it was no longer the best thing for me. Goals were about commitment, will power, and determination, right? And I was determined to keep every goal even if it killed me. That turned into too much pressure to deal with (God forbid I face life and decisions) and I would plummet in and out of depression. No one ever explained that goals change or may disappear completely if they are no longer relevant. I am already a little off my rocker. Can you imagine what would happen if I took myself to a whole new level of crazy?
So I have learned to start small, and enjoy the pleasure in attaining the small goals. For instance, floss my teeth every other day (my dentist would say every day, but considering I remember once a week, I think every other day sounds right. Plus, he doesn't read my blog). Take my vitamins every evening. Drink 10 glasses of water a day. Blog at least once a week. Get to the gym 4-5 days a week. When I am comfortable with one of these, its time to replace it. Of course I have long term goals, too. But now I know they may change. And I am going to try that super corny thing of writing it out and tape it to my bathroom mirror. Because I am just that kind of person. And for those of you thinking it, I will probably also repeat them to myself every morning. Who knows? If I speak out loud, I just may floss every day.