Why You Might Need To ‘Break’ Your Goals

Like a lot of people, I make big goals at the beginning of the year. But I’m also obsessed with making a bunch of smaller ones as the year progresses with specific times I’d like to see them completed. I’m such a list-making freak that I make these goals and sometimes even “sub-goals” to keep me on track.

Recently, despite all my borderline OCD behaviour, I missed a big mark. I wanted to have a certain goal accomplished “by the end of summer,” and well, autumn is here and I didn’t quite accomplish what I wanted.

One thing I have asked myself is, “Was my goal realistic?” In other words, did I really think that lazily drinking wine on the beautiful summer patio wouldn’t sometimes get in the way of me sitting at my computer?

I realize now that I need to be more realistic, let myself off the hook, and give myself another couple of months.

In the past, there have been a few goals I’ve made that never got done and I felt like a failure.  After several years of keeping these same goals on my list (take scuba diving lessons [despite being deathly afraid of deep water], learn to play the cello [despite a lack of love for classical music], buy a Mercedes [despite never having actually been inside one in my life]), I eventually had to admit that these weren’t really things I desperately wanted to do.

If you have a nagging goal or “to-do” on your list, ask yourself if it’s something you truly want or if it’s possibly coming from a dreamy ideal or even an outside pressure.

For me, I truly came to this realization when a few of my friends made knitting look so cool I thought I would learn too. But after two years of having those new needles and yarn beside my bed, I had to admit that it was not going to become my passion any time soon. Better that I just support my friends in their coolness and hopefully they’ll reciprocate with a nice pair of mittens.

It’s important and even fun to have goals, and it’s even great to make deadlines for yourself. When I meet my self-made deadlines and accomplish something on my list I feel great.

But it’s important that we don’t put too much pressure on ourselves, especially with all the other outside stresses going on. Going forward, there’s the possibility that I could myself down again, but I have to remember that if a goal is important enough to me, I know I will achieve it in due course.

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