Monday, April 20, 2015

A few recent thoughts on goals

Photo is apropos of nothing other than my recent trip to Home Depot, the adult toy store. ;)
The Internet loves goal-setting - monthly lists, 25 before 25 goals, all sorts of goals. As I have gotten into the swing of it myself, I have been thinking about the ultimate end of it all. I've encountered a couple good thoughts on goal-setting recently that I wanted to share.

My organization is going through a strategic review process, thinking about how we need to change our approach to our work in response to a world that's changed a great deal since we were founded in the early 80s. At a recent meeting, during some back-and-forth about how the strategic review is unfolding, one board member suggested that we approach it from the perspective of "At the end of this process, what do you want to be different about the organization?" I think that's such an important question, one that we shouldn't lose sight of in the process of making our lists of new things to try or new habits to develop. We need to keep the big picture in mind- what is the ultimate end of these goals?  What do we want to be different about ourselves, our lives, our paths? It reminded me of a post on Today's Letters about goal-setting: "The purpose for setting goals is to be transformed by them in the process."

Mormon mom blogs were my gateway drug into blog-reading which was my gateway drug into blogging, and I still read a handful. Shawni at 71 Toes recently wrote about her family's goal-setting for the next year. One commenter wrote, "I think the thing we have concluded is that setting goals is a wonderful kind of risk. The risk is that you won't make them all within the timetable set, but even so, you will likely be much closer to those goals than if you had not set them at all. Long live goal setting, long live risk-taking." I love the association he makes between goals and risks - no wonder they can feel so scary.

So yes - goals are all about transformation and risk. That's something I want to keep in mind as I set my own goals. There's certainly room for goals that will be relatively fun and easy - but they should be balanced by ones that will truly stretch and change you.

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