Are you a goals-orientated person? For the past week, I’ve been listening to a lot of people saying ‘I want to achieve this…’ or ‘it would be nicer if…’ Whilst this goals have been admirable, I have to admit I’ve been sitting thinking and HOW are you going to achieve that? WHEN and WHAT are you going to do to get there?
But then I’ve also been pondering if that’s the right attitude to have. Is striving for changes always a good thing?
The benefit of clear goals
Way back last December, I wrote about a recent course I had taken part in run by Aby of ‘You Baby Me Mummy.’ I found her outlook on goals as really inspirational and very suited to my personality type – it really was a ‘just do it’ type approach. The idea that you should set your eyes on a prize and just get there.
Aby maintained that goals must be clear and very specific. They can’t be vague and you must know ‘why’ you are doing something along with the ‘how’ and ‘what’. And whilst planning is important – you also need to actually just do it!
To that end, I set myself 4 ‘ultimate’ goals for the year:
- Increase the number of people reading my blog.
- Improve visual images.
- Develop my ‘voice’.
- Make more links with my local area and businesses.
Whilst these were undoubtedly broad, I also wrote a very specific list detailing what ‘success’ looked like and an even more specific task list. I gave myself 90 days to achieve this list before re-evaluating and making a new list for the next quarter.
Has this been successful? In lots of ways – yes! I did complete the vast majority of my tasks and I have met many of my specific targets: the number of people reading has risen (thank you!); I’ve taken photography courses and invested in learning; I’ve continued to write regularly for the blog and have enjoyed guest posting for others. I’m also delighted to have been brand rep for a number of small businesses and continue to celebrate links locally.
But am I happy? Has meeting these goals improved my wellbeing or improved my mindset?
Do I have Growth Mindset?
This week I sat in on a session that focused on the idea of a ‘growth mindset’. I’ve written briefly about this concept before – really using it to change the ‘voice’ in my head. I was determined to think different to overcome obstacles and ultimately help me achieve my goals.
But I’ve been pondering on whether I’ve really got it wrong. Does everything really have to be about the end game?
Sometimes, I think a better mindset may actually be about realising when we’ve got it all wrong. True Growth Mindset isn’t about always ‘winning’ or getting better but rather about the journey we are on and realisations along the way. It’s about reflecting on the WHY and checking in with that.
Let me give you an example: on the way to work this week I was thinking about how much I miss my Dad. I was thinking what I would do if I could have one more day with him. My initial thought was that I’d want to share a meal with him. He really enjoyed food and I would just want to eat a really good meal without any worry over calorie intake etc.
So I wondered – why don’t I just do that everyday? Why do I not eat what I want? Why don’t I stop and get a Shortbread Choc Chunk Cookie?! What’s the point in going to the gym? Surely life is too short?!
But then I also remembered exactly why I like to keep fit. I want to be healthy and have the ability to spend time with my kids. I want to be a positive role model.
In short, I listened to what my head was saying – but I questioned it and explored what I really was feeling. I don’t have a specific fitness goal right now and that’s ok. There’s no ‘winning’ or singular objective. ‘Success’ is a much broader concept.
I think it can be so sad when we fix ourselves on an ideal. When we fail to see the bigger picture and lose that perspective.
I think I’m always going to be a ‘goals’ orientated person. I like to have clear measurable targets and I LOVE a good to do list. But I think there’s room to grow in all kinds of ways. Sometimes, we need to grow in resilience to accept that things won’t go our way. Sometimes we need the tenacity to not buy into the message society wants us to accept. Failure is MORE THAN OK!!
We just need to be the people we can be. My best may not be yours… and that’s ok too.