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Making Peace with Goals


Sometimes in life, we find ourselves not at the place we wanted or expected to be. This may not be such a big deal when this realization comes randomly as a general assessment. However, this can really affect us when we’ve set goals for ourselves and then realize we aren’t where we'd set out to be.

So how do you regroup when you find that it’s five years into the future and you haven’t opened up your own shop by now or you still haven’t learned to play the piano or speak that foreign language. How do you evaluate where you are and set a path of progress for your future.

The most important thing I’ve learned to do at these times is first to ask myself “ok where am I actually?.” Without asking yourself this question, it is easy to misconstrue how far off you are from your goal and to not see the progress you've made towards it. You can undoubtedly look back through your life and pick out a number of events, accomplishments, and “coincidences” that have been steps in the direction of the goal you’ve set. It’s important to note this because then you can begin to understand the reasons why your progress is slower than you hoped. This moves you to the next question.

The next important question I ask is “do I still want that goal?” Surprisingly, most times the answer is no, not exactly in the same way you wanted it before. Over time, you’ve learned different things, you’ve had various experiences, and even if only subconsciously, your thoughts for what you want have grown and developed as well. Two things could be happening – 1. your original goal has changed into something slightly different and this is what you’ve been moving towards instead. 2. you no longer want your original goal and so you’ve been subconsciously holding up your progress towards it.

Once you’ve answered these questions for yourself, it’s easier to figure out how to move forward. In most cases, it’s very necessary to take stock of your life as a whole. Yes, maybe you haven’t opened the coffee shop yet but in the meantime maybe you have traveled the world. Perhaps if you’d stayed home and focused only on opening that shop, you never would have made time to travel the world. Yes, you could have been married by now but how much more difficult would giving to a fledgling business have been if you were also giving to a new love as well?

It’s vitally important to look at your life and focus mostly if not singularly on the blessings that it’s particular unfolding has brought. It is a rote reminder, but truly it is the case that every single experience is a great gift solely depending on how you look at it. And so I’ve found that when one becomes upset about the goals they’ve set, all one really needs to do is turn their view to the spaces outside of those goals – all the life that has been lived there.

Once you have this perspective, setting a path forward again becomes an easy task. Incorporating what you have learned from asking questions and viewing your life as a whole gives you the fuel and resources you need to set an even clearer road to your goals. Realizing that your life has been full of great experiences and notable accomplishments already gives you a great sense of peace. This makes traveling the road to your goals that much easier.
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Content copyright © 2013 by Leah R. Patterson. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Leah R. Patterson. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Leah R. Patterson for details.

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