Two Reasons I Didn’t Set Big Goals

Big dreams. Do you have them? Big goals that might live in the back of your mind that you know you want to accomplish, but have no idea how?

Do they scare you? Excite you? Or even annoy you because they seem unattainable?

One of my mentors told me once “Enough with the baby steps Evie! Make big goals!” Now, that might be a slight paraphrase, but I clearly remember her tone and meaning.

And I remember thinking something to the effect of: “Goals have to be attainable in a set period of time. I can’t guarantee that I’ll successfully meet those big goals. Smaller goals are easier and more comfortable.”

Here’s the kicker, I wasn’t accomplishing those small goals either. I would dip my toes in the water and then decide that it was too cold and somehow expect my goals to magically materialize in front of me. Yeah, they didn’t.

One reason I didn’t set big goals was that I believed the myth that all goals must have a hard date that cannot be moved or adjusted for anything. And I didn’t want to dream about something that I’d be really disappointed that I didn’t accomplish in my specific time frame. It’s better to set reasonable expectations, right? And save yourself that pain of disappointment.

Well, that’s just bull.

Another reason I didn’t set big goals: I had to know every single detailed step I would take to meet that goal. So, any dream I had that I couldn’t do that with couldn’t be a goal – it had to stay a dream, an unattainable one. Again, why create goals you don’t logically know you can accomplish.  It’s better to see the path clearly laid out, right? And save yourself the potential pain of the unknown.

So, is it more painful to try for the dream, try for the big goal and have those failures along the way (but are they failures or course correctors)? Or is it more painful to stay safe and think about those dreams, those “if only’s…” and “what if’s…”?

Here’s what I know now. Big goals, big dreams are important. They drive you and give you something to look forward to. They propel you into action when you might want to sit on the couch and watch TV, surf the web or do something else that eats time, but doesn’t feed you.

And you know what happens when you set goals that feed you? You know that you can accomplish them. It may not be logical, but somehow, you just know it is possible for you.

So, set that big goal. Make it as big and exciting and even as scary as you want. Does your heart swell just thinking about it? Good!

Here are some closing thoughts:

  • Dates can be adjusted. Write it down somewhere each time you do and review it. Look for any patterns and address them as necessary.
  • You don’t have to know every single step that you’ll take on the way to the goal. Having a vague idea can be enough. Just know the next step (or two) that takes you closer to your goal.
  • Be open to the unexpected opportunities. Some opportunities that move you closer to your goal you can’t plan for. That unexpected phone call or meeting that results in an opportunity that you didn’t expect.

So, what’s your big goal? And what’s the next step you can take to move you closer to it?

 

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