Pursuing goals I’ve created as always been a challenge. I have found it easy to create many goals over my adult lifetime. I have always struggled to follow the goals I create for myself.
External goals for others are easier for me to keep, especially work-related goals. The struggle seems to center around a pact I make with myself. Isn’t the pact making central to keeping my goals? I agree to do what I say I am going to do.
But the ones I create and keep for myself?
I’d give myself a solid D minus over the last several years. The number of goals I’ve claimed as desirable remains, for me, innumerable. All but a few remain unfulfilled.
Advice bloggers and columnists suggest writing goals down (“goals not written down are just wishes”); others suggest sharing goals publicly; still others suggest mapping goals to strategic visions. None of these strategies worked for me. The truth is I don’t think I’ve cared very much for or about myself over my lifetime. I’ve tended to blow sunshine up my own arse about what I’ve said I’ve wanted for myself. Over the last several weeks and months – since I worked with a great career counselor late last year – I’ve found I can now set and achieve goals for myself.
The linchpin has been knowing I am a writer. With that clarity in mind I’m less inclined to delude myself with my own, self-created smoke screens. I trust myself more. I’m willing to create self-talk that supports me in pursuing my own goals. I value myself more because I’ve excavated what is important to me.
The key for me is that I believe I am someone who is worth improving, someone for whom pursuing goals is valuable. In pursuing these goals I increase my sense of self-worth, which makes me want to pursue more goals. The cycle becomes self-fulfilling.
Until I was willing to believe in my writing and myself, I flailed. I just seemed to float along with no long-term action to support myself. Increasingly I am more interested in creating conditions for my own success, and for that self-knowledge, I am grateful.