One of the hardest parts of blogging, aside from getting through the introductory paragraph, is coming up with a title for a post. You (or at least I) want it to be short, clever, encompassing of the topic and, of course, spark some interest. Did I accomplish that with this one or does my wit still only make me laugh? You don’t have to answer that, I know it’s the latter.
As I mentioned on Friday I felt in a little funk and wanted to experiment with some pen-to-paper goal-setting. Honestly, thinking about goal-setting evokes two different sets of emotions: 1) Wahoo! Goals are great for productivity and making the most of time. On the contrary, 2) Life is meant to be enjoyed and not pressure-filled. Goals can cause stress and make me feel the need to be “on” all the time.
Obviously the “easy” answer is that goals are great for certain things, times and places but not others. But this isn’t an “easy” answer for me…it doesn’t say anything as to what, when and where goals are good. I like specifics. Tell me exactly what to do and I’ll do it well. It’s the gray area that causes me trouble and where I end up losing motivation. Ironically, I think life is best lived in the gray area, that is, after all the place of balance and freedom.
Here’s what I’m learning: not setting concrete goals doesn’t make you a lazy, just like setting goals doesn’t automatically make you productive or “better.” Both sides are good for different reasons, it’s the “why” behind the actions that is most important.
Personally, I needed some time (mainly post-graduation) without goal setting. Time to just go with the flow and embrace the ultra-lazy days when the most productive thing I did was walk my dog. I know many people set weekly goals (of different magnitudes) during vacations, breaks or off-weeks, but I needed time away from that. To some extent I was still productive, but just not in an intentional, organized way that many people are.
I think this is a lot like running and training..not every race is a goal race. Some are about having fun and just finishing. Some phases in life are about having fun and taking things as they come. Neither is better than the other.
So here I am, in a goal-setting phase. It doesn’t have a set end-date or specific requirements. I might check in occasionally, but I don’t have any plans for writing about it regularly. Embracing that gray area.
But I will share my goals for this week.
Short and simple, just how I like it. They’ll likely change weekly and depend on many factors, but I’ll never be one to create grueling or harsh goals that lead to an unhealthy mental state (i.e. “I need to run more this week than last week”). Not my style.
I think a variety of both personal and business goals will be a good balance for me at the moment. Oh, and I did actually write these on a sheet of paper too. I said I was going to do it and I did. My always and forever goal/motto: practice what I preach.