We all know that we are never going to achieve anything in life unless we have goals, right? How can we tell if we are successful unless we have attained the thing we were striving for? The job, house, the relationship, the family…
But, does having BIG goals really help?
What if having a big goal wasn’t such a great idea? What if focusing on that outcome was detrimental to achieving it? What if you rolled with the punches a little more and instead of relentlessly pursuing the end, enjoyed the journey and see where it took you? What if you gave yourself little gifts, not goals?
There is a theory that the problem with intensely focusing on a big goal is that we can become blind to noticing when it’s not working. The more things go wrong the more we feel the need to just try harder and it will all work out. And it may. But, just as often the problem is that the goal isn’t really achievable or isn’t in line with what we truly, deep down want. It’s what Chris Kayes calls “goalidiocy”. And why do we do this? – because admitting our goal was wrong for us when we have put so much effort into it goes right to the heart of our identity. No-one likes to think (and admit) they were wrong.
How does this affect us midlife women?
Well, to be blunt, we now have less time to attain those big goals. I’m not saying you should abandon all hope, but we need to give ourselves as much help and support along the way and enjoy the journey just as much as the outcome. Our 40s onwards is a period when we reassess much about what we thought was important in life, so, the big goal may have changed anyway. The answer may be to not have a big vision of what you want life to be like sometime in the future but to look at how you would like it to be NOW.
So, how does this help us when we are planning our fabulous future. Surely we can’t just drift along aimlessly seeing what happens? Too many people are relying on us. What if we end up with nothing? Most women are very adaptable (we are often great problem solvers) so use those skills and don’t fall into the trap of continuing on an unsuitable route – be prepared to change things.
What can you do?
You may have that ideal future planned but you need to give yourself more immediate things to aim for. Think of the milestones along the way as your gifts to yourself.
1 Choose something you would like to achieve in the near-ish future – this week, or month or 6 months – be realistic and specific but not too big a goal. Don’t choose “I want to be fitter”. If you want to improve your health what does that mean? Do you want to not be out of breath at the top of the stairs. Or is it to improve your run time by a particular margin?
2 What can you do today to move you towards that goal? It may be something tiny taking just a few minutes, or, something more meaty. Break it down into realistically manageable parts. Plan when you are going to do this thing. Schedule it. Make it important to you and give yourself the gift of working on your life. Enjoy it as much as possible.
3 Review – you should review where you are and whether you want to change the route or destination on a regular basis. Have things changed? Do you still truly want this end result? Is there a better way to do it? Are you still having some fun, or has it all become dreary?
If so, why is it dreary? Is it a blip along the way that you have to get through? Or, has it been dragging on forever -and what does that mean?
4 Have the guts to admit it if the final result is no longer as important – and change it to one which is!
The focus of The Real Mee Project is to create your fabulous life today – enjoyable, stimulating, fun, fulfilling. You can’t control the future, certainly not a long way ahead, but you can improve the now and the near future. Achievable milestones that make you happier now and optimistic about what’s ahead. Give yourself the gift of working on your life so that you will be happier in your life.