What I'm Learning About "Goals"

Photo by Emma Matthews

Goals have kind of been my thing for a while now.

Every month I make a new list of goals in my agenda, I'm basically obsessed with bullet journal YouTube videos, and I salivate at the thought of New Year's Resolutions.

That being said, the past 4-6 months have been an interesting time for my goal-digger personality. I have some pretty big goals that I'm trying to accomplish and they have kind of consumed my life. Which isn't abnormal for me, per se, but I've definitely noticed a shift in my attitude.

For a while, I had about five "medium-sized" goals I was juggling around. Things like, "finish decorating the living room", or "meal-prep every Sunday". But since introducing my "big-sized goals" like "pay off my debt by January", I've realized that I needed to cut back on my smaller goals by, like, a lot.

Instead of a page of goals ranging from small- to medium- to big-sized, I now have about 2-3 small/medium-sized goals and only one big goal. I didn't do this on purpose. It actually happened very organically because here's the thing: you πŸ‘ can't πŸ‘ do πŸ‘ it πŸ‘ all. Even if you try really hard, and you plan and you make a bunch of goals and you break those goals down into tasks - you still can't do it all.

I've been trying to do it all for...probably my whole life. But definitely the last six years. And the burnout is reeeeaaal, let me tell you. I stopped making goals all-together for a while and it wasn't until the last 4-6 months that I was ready to reach for them again.

This time around, though, there are a few things that are not on my list. Basically, anything that has to do with changing my body composition or changing my eating habits. I "fail" (I use this term lightly) at these all. the. time and honestly, they just aren't as important to me at the moment. So, no, I'm not planning on getting shredded or becoming a vegan anytime soon, because those are not small goals. Those are big, life-changing goals. And I only have room for one of those.

But here's the kicker: when you only have one goal that takes a lot of concentration or effort, and it actually means something to you and you actually care about it, it's a lot easier to accomplish that goal.

I have been super-focused on paying down my debt for about three months. And I'm well on my way to actually accomplishing that goal by the date I said I would accomplish it. Could I have done this while becoming vegan? Hah. No. Could I have done it while gettin' buff? Certainly not. Can I do it while meal-prepping on Sundays and reading more books? As it turns out, yes. It's all about priorities.

So, the moral of the story is if you are a goal-digger who is having a hard time accomplishing any of the goals you set, pick one. Pick one and only one and focus only on that one goal until you think you can add on something small. And if you notice that "small" goal is making you lose sight of your "big" goal then you need to A) ditch the small goal, or B) realize that maybe your "small" goal isn't as small as you think. Weigh your priorities and start again.

But most importantly, remember why you want to accomplish this goal in the first place. Because if you're why isn't strong, then neither is your motivation.