Goals. Setting goals. S.M.A.R.T goals. I’ve been taught time and time again the importance of goals.
Sure, having goals is great. They are something to aim for.
But FAR more important than the goal, is the plan. What is your plan to reach that goal? Instead of what, it’s answering the question: How? This is not only where the magic happens, it’s where LIFE happens.
So often we hear people talk about goals as dreams. What is your dream job? What do you want to be when you grow up? Dream big! We forget that the answer to these questions is not an achievement but a lifestyle. And a lifestyle requires having a life. A goal implies that at some point in the future, you reach that goal – that dream – and you’re done. But that isn’t what we want. We don’t want to be done once we reach the goal. We want to live it, we want to relish in it.
Once you land your dream job, you don’t want to turn around the next day and look for a new one. But accomplishing a goal implies just that.
For decades, my life was driven forward by goals:
Get straight A’s in school
Get into my 1st choice of university
Land my first job
Get that promotion
And I had plans to get to each of these goals. I put these plans into action. But I was failing to see along the way. I was failing to learn the lessons behind getting straight A’s. I failed to love my first job since I was already aiming for the next one.
Then I became a mother. Like all mothers, I want to be the best mother to my children that I can be. So what did I do? I sat down to write goals.
Be a great mom
Have respectful and respectable kids
Have a clean house
Potty Train by age 2 ½ (HA!)
And guess what? None of these goals felt fulfilling. I wasn’t able to relish in these goals every day. And I found out that I have WAY less control over the timelines of these little humans than I had in any job role before. I was never going to enjoy my time with my little ones if I was worried that they’d be potty trained “on time.” It was time to change perspective.
Now, the journey is the goal, not a destination or an accomplishment. Now, my “goal” is to live in the moment, enjoy all of my time with my kids, have fun starting my business, and watch it (and my children) grow.
Love the plan, love the process, and remember to live for today. I still have big dreams and high expectations for myself and my kids, but now I’ve learned to enjoy the ride as much as I celebrate the accomplishments.
And the biggest thing that I’ve learned along the way? I have a lot to learn!