On choosing your next battle….

Lacking direction or focus is one of the most frustrating places to get stuck. Often times, though, we wind up there of our own volition. We do it to ourselves. Not all the time, but most of the time, it would seem. There is always something to do or somewhere to go or someone to be. It’s just that we get caught up in where we are right now and forget about all the dreams we had for ourselves…and tragically, we can come to that realization far too late in life.

Recently, I wrote a post asking the ever-fearful, “Now what?” after graduation. I had a friend (who is wildly smart and insightful) tell me to keep learning, to keep growing because if I didn’t I’d get in a complacent rut very very quickly. A mere four weeks after graduation, I’m already starting to feel the effects of complacency and general lack of direction. That’s the thing about goals. It’s what’s really so important about having goals, to be honest. It gives you somewhere to go, something to achieve. So once a goal is reached, there’s another one that needs to be put into place.

Todd and I had certain goals in mind that had to be met before we would consider having children. We wanted a house with a yard, we needed me to be done with school, and we want to take one last blow-out vacation before we take the next 18-25 years to raise decent human beings. The house and school goals have been realized and by June we’ll have taken that last vacation. I’ll clarify here, lest Todd’s head explode, that we will still travel with and without tiny humans, but the extravagance and frequency will certainly be slowed.

Having kids is a goal we’ve made as a couple and while it’s an important and life-changing goal, I think it’s equally as important to have personal goals out there. Todd’s personal goals typically center around his budding writing career. He’s had one book published, another is being looked at, another is in the pitch process, and yet another is currently a work-in-progress…all this while he get his ass handed to him by a 45+ hour/week day job. He sets a goal and goes for it with a great deal of personal gusto, if I do say so myself.

The personal goal is my struggle “for the nonce.” Spending so long working toward something has kind of stalled whatever current goals I might have. Yes, I’d like to lose 10lbs and run a marathon, but fitness goals are a different type of goals entirely. What are my personal goals? What should I set my sights on? Publication? General recognition in my “field” of writing? Should I try to write the book Todd keeps pressing me on? Should I aim for that high-paying career which I devote my entire life and all my energies to?

Indifference and complacency is certainly not a goal to be achieved or desired, yet both seem to come all too easily and, sadly, naturally for most of us. So what are your current goals? How do you go about setting a new goal or narrowing down your list of goals?

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2 thoughts on “On choosing your next battle….

  1. It's hard to think of a goal or someone to be right now because I'm feeling a bit rundown and beaten up. Part of that is my own fault and part of that is why I'm taking certain hiatuses for a while. I'm trying to remember what I love doing. I keep comic back to event planning. I can do that on a personal level whenever I want but it's a challenging field to break into. What DO I want to introduce myself as??

  2. There's always something more to learn or achieve, I think. You put it best when you said “someone to be” near the beginning; once we know who we are then we have a solid direction about where to go and what to do. I want to be a writer-author, so the next book is an obvious goal for me to have.

    Find your passion or, as New Belgium puts it, your “folly.” It doesn't have to be an all-encompassing life goal, but you're definitely at the stage in your life where what you want to do is more achievable and, in some cases, more relevant than what you need to do.

    Now that you're done with school and you've lost the “student” label, who are you? How would you refer to yourself when meeting a total stranger? Define that, and the path to your next achievement or experience should coalesce a bit easier.

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