Setting goals is one of my favorite things to do, especially as we begin a new year. The future always feels to me like it’s bursting with the possibility of a life yet unclaimed.
And so it was with 2016. I accomplished many goals; however, life had other plans.
I found myself in the throes of ending a long-term relationship, moving out of my comfortable residence, and gaining about 10 pounds.
I certainly didn’t have “end long-term relationship” as a goal for 2016. I imagine most people don’t have that on their list for 2017, either.
But life happens.
Having recently been slapped with the reminder that I really don’t have that much control over my life, setting goals for 2017 feels impossible.
We are encouraged (i.e. brainwashed) into believing that the beginning of each year is the best time to establish our goals – really that this is the only time to do so.
How many blogs do we read in July that talk about setting new goals and establishing our vision?
It seems that we should be jumping headlong into the beginning of each year with new dreams and new visions of a life that will be all unicorns and rainbows.
On the other hand, if you’ve ever burned something to the ground, you get the sense that lying fallow has its place, too.
Sometimes we don’t know what is going to occur through us because our little seed of a life is so new that it needs to soak up more sun, water, and nutrients before anything can grow.
Sometimes, we just need more time before we can begin to image a future for ourselves.
Context matters, especially when we begin to think about our goals and what we want to accomplish.
A month ago, it was enough for me to set a goal of sleeping for seven hours uninterrupted. I put this on my goal list and erased the one that said, “Establish a new reference system for book research.” (True story.)
Yes, as a person who has accomplished more in her business and professional life than was almost imaginable, my new goal was to sleep through the night. (Which I can proudly say I have attained.)
Looking out over the vast forest of possibility can be thrilling.
It can also feel like drowning.
Sometimes living our best year is simply noticing what is right in front of us. Maybe walking over to that nice, full tree and enjoying its shade is the best we can muster.
And that goal is enough for now.
The Leadership Weekly
Weekly wisdom from the DS Leadership Life team.