2016 is just about over. It’s time to look back and ask ourselves, “How much progress have you made?”, “How many goals have you accomplished that you set for yourself?”
Me personally, despite a few losses and set-backs, I had an outstanding year. By no means would I call it stellar progress, but honestly you won’t hear 1 complaint leave my lips.
Before we continue, let’s define the word, “Goal” using a dictionary definition:
Now, if you’ll allow me, I’ll add a little flavor to that dry definition: A GOAL is the attainment of something you want or need; having something happen that you wanted to make happen; or a desired result that usually benefits you (or others) in some way.
Still with me?
Let’s keep it real, for most people goal setting is a pain; and there are a few reasons for that. Mainly setting goals becomes a chore instead of motivation. Even if you do take the time to make them and feel good about them, you'll probably forget about them in a month or 2. Then there’s another group of people who set goals and then their goals change like the wind; very often.
Some people don’t accept that goals need to be set because you can’t possibly predict all the changes, obstacles and problems that you’ll come across. Which means you may have to adjust and change your goals to make them more realistic for your current circumstances. What a pain, right?
If you wanted to take a road trip from New York City, New York to Los Angeles, California – you would need some directions. Possibly a map and a step-by-step “guide” on what roads and interstates to use and how many miles to use them.
Logically that makes perfect sense, doesn’t it? How else could you navigate the roads and turns going from 1 coast of the United States to the other? Having a road map works very effectively because unless there’s some major ROAD CONSTRUCTION or terrible WEATHER CONDITIONS, the variables are very static – follow the directions, you’ll eventually get to your destination.
Unfortunately, real life doesn’t work that way.
Consider for a moment how many times you made some simple plans that went off-track. You may have a schedule for your day (in your head at least):
Simple. But any parent can already imagine the vast number of possible things that can happen to put a wrench in this machine. On the more serious side, just imaging getting a flat tire on your way to pick up your children from school. Everything from that point on still needs to get done but, now adjustments need to be made – IF THE DESIRED RESULT REMAINS THE SAME. In this case, getting everyone fed and ready for the next day.
This is life – sometimes unpredictable – a series of problems that must be solved.
The issue with making goals are that they do need adjustment sometimes. And you need to accept that things don't always work out as intended – you may have to let it go (or change your goal drastically). Just thinking about that stings a little, I know.
The “road accessibility” and “weather conditions” of everyday life are NOT static. They change constantly and can turn any plans into a whirlwind of confusion. But goal setting is important, right? So, what are we to do?
It’s merely a change in Perspective. The most important element of any goal is the final outcome; the desired result. It’s NOT the plan. What’s essential is the final destination, NOT the road map to get there.
What’s most important is that you focus on where you’re going – the end goal itself. Don’t allow yourself to get frustrated or thrown off by having to change the plans you made to reach your goal. There is no 1 way to reach a destination! The shortest distance between 2 points is a straight line, but that doesn’t mean that’s the best route to take.
Mentally prepare yourself to shift, alter and change any plans you’ve made. But DO NOT lose sight of the final result you’re after; the goal itself. That’s what’s most important. Sometimes you need to get out of your own way. And who knows, sometimes a better “road map” will present itself than what you originally planned. These can come from other people or even inspiration from within yourself.
Simply put, be FIRM with your goals but be FLUID with your plans to reach those goals. At the end of the day any progress IS progress; even if that progress came from outside of your original plans. Be thankful and keep moving forward.
“…just know I chose my own fate. I drove by the fork in the road and went straight.”
Jay-Z - Renegade
Until next time…
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