When I sat down to write my new year’s resolutions (not the ones I shared on the blog but a list of more specific personal goals) I was so tempted to list out everything I wanted to see change in my life.
My manic list of things to do in 2017 looked something like this: Buy a house. Pay off all of my debt. Write a novel. Run a marathon. Travel to 25 different countries. Waltz around in head to toe looks straight from NYFW runways. Meet Taylor Swift. Get Gigi Hadid’s bikini body. Single handedly deal with global warming and all the girls who don’t get to go to school. Research every cult that has ever existed and write a book analyzing the psychology of religion. Get into law school. Perfectly curate my Instagram with fabulously staged photos mimicking the pages of Vogue. Ha!
I may be exaggerating a tiny bit but I think my point is clear. So often I want to do it all and I want to achieve everything so quickly. One of my greatest weaknesses is my perpetual desire for freshness, newness and change. While life should be in part about experiencing new things, shouldn’t we take time to cultivate the metaphorical gardens we planted just recently?
Big news! I’m starting a new job at a law firm next Tuesday (my 25th birthday). I’ve done a lot of job hopping since I graduated college and while I am grateful for all of the experiences I’ve gained I am ready for a career I can settle into and learn the ropes.
I’ll be honest, it’s really hard for me not to chase down every passing fancy that crosses my mind. When a new subject or idea interests me I become obsessive. I’ll dive head first into researching a new subject only to find another interest to obsess over a month or two later. I’m speaking candidly here when I admit that this quality of mine worries me. I’m not sure how to balance drive and commitment with curiousity and exploration. How do I pursue new interests while sticking it out through the difficult times we all face in pursuit of our goals?
Moving forward I want to hold myself more accountable to my commitments without forcing myself to stick to petty goals and ambitions. While there is no reason to finish that book on the nightstand that continues to bore you, it’s important to recognize that every job has bad days and every long term friendship faces disagreements or challenges.
This year I won’t be able to do it all. I can’t start saving money while still buying every pair of Stuart Weitzman boots I see on the legs of a Victoria’s Secret Angel. I can’t work overtime, buy a house, get engaged, run a blog, start law school, travel across the globe and volunteer weekly with every organization that means something to me. I have to maintain my sanity and aiming to achieve all of my big goals in one year does not make me a #GirlBoss it makes me impatient.
I’ve noticed we really like to glorify the “do it all now” mindset (myself included). Start a business, travel abroad, get married, star in a reality television show, open an Etsy shop, take acting classes and blog your dreams all RIGHT NOW. This mindset is a great drive to get going, but I think it also sets us up for disappointment. What happens when you push everything to happen too fast and end up selling yourself short? Do we do everything half way without giving any task the real attention it deserves? I’m not suggesting we give up all of our ambitions but rather that we recognize we can’t always do it all at once.
Realistically a lot of my big goals should be five year goals not one year goals. By looking at what I want to accomplish over a slightly longer period of time I can reach for my goals without selling myself short or jumping into something before I can really get my “ducks in a row” so to speak.
Looking at my life with an endurance mindset instead of a sprint mindset is very freeing. I’ve felt the tightness in my chest dissolve just typing out this post. Note to self: breathe deeply and keep persisting even if it feels like the results aren’t immediate. Instant gratification is fun but achievement that comes from long term hard work is so much more fulfilling.
How do you think about goal setting? Do you sometimes aim to do too much into short of a time frame? How do you stay motivated to reach goals that won’t be achieved over night? I would love love love to hear your thoughts on this topic, I’m certainly not an expert!