Goals

I hadn’t really intended this blog to be general updates, but I’m in the mood to write something, and the post I was working on is too emotionally draining, and so here I am.

Goal: Write down goals. Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

It is goal-setting season at work. I am finding this challenging because A) I have multiple bosses in a matrix organization and each boss has a different view of the priorities, and B) I am kind of over this job and pretty sure I want to look for a different one. This would be contradictory to the goals of my current employer and the goals of all of my bosses (I guess it’s nice that they agree on something).

Direct Report had an easier time writing goals. He only has one boss, and I gave him good ideas for his goals. Am I allowed to use some of his goals since I’m the manager of the team? Does management work that way?

I also have therapy homework to figure out my goals and set them. I am new to therapy. Not sure how I feel about the overall therapy experience, but that’s a separate post. I don’t mind the concept of therapy homework. I think what I don’t like is the language of goals. Not achieving goals sounds suspiciously like failure. Not setting goals in the first place sounds like a good way of avoiding failure.

I’m wondering if it’s possible that I’ve reached my mid-thirties without ever setting a proper goal. Did well in school because it was expected. Picked a college that felt like a good fit and offered a scholarship. Picked a major by accident, and was too lazy to switch when it turned out I was bad at it (in fairness, it was a hard major), so I stuck with it, bad grades and all. (Honestly, if your expectations are low enough, you can do anything). Picked a minor because a friend asked me to do it with her, and the minor was easy and helped offset bad grades in my major. Got into the industry through a job fair, and it turned out to be a pretty good fit. Moved when the commute was too long. Spent too much time in relationships with the wrong people to be actively dating with purpose, and met now-Husband by accident. Most of these choices turned out to be reasonably good ones, but it wasn’t that I had it in mind to wind up where I am now.

It’s possible that I have never set a proper goal in my life before. Hmmm….Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

Sometimes, I feel like a paper doll or a Barbie, in that there are probably half a dozen storylines represented by outfits that would have been a good fit for me. I’m might be wearing one, but it probably isn’t the only one that would make me happy, and it might not even be the one that makes me happiest.

The metaphor falls apart because I feel like paralyzed by having to make a decision and commit to a life goal, which is not the same as changing outfits. So I stay in place, naked and undecided (yeah, this metaphor really isn’t working).

Self portrait, in which each outfit is a different storyline and yet I’m still walking around plotless in my undergarments. Image by M Harris from Pixabay

Ugh, I’m exhausted. Therapy (and blogging too, in a way) is exhausting. How does anybody get anything done?

17 comments

  1. I am no therapist but maybe set smaller goals. Readily achievable ones. Actually I am confused about the goals now… whether they’re only on demand at work or whether they gave a personal element. Anyway, there’s a strong argument for small step goals. They avoid the failure issue but still offer purpose… and less time naked. 😉

    Liked by 3 people

  2. You say “I’m kind of over this job and want to look for a new one.” So that could be a goal right? You said you spent too much time in relationships with the wrong people. Did you walk away from that and then meet your husband by accident or were you still in one of those relationships when you met him? I think some goals are not necessarily achievable apart from knowing what you want and then recognizing it when it comes at the right time.

    Liked by 2 people

    • New job is a good, actual goal ( it’s taken time to realize this because I really liked Current Job for a long time, but now I think I would be happier in a different job). I met Husband while in the process of ending one of those relationships, to be honest. (Relationship was already ending independently of Husband, but it would be a lie to say that I was 100% single at the time.)

      Liked by 3 people

      • Ya I think a lot of times things come to us when we are finally in a place where we are open to receive and even recognize them. I’ve also been having the experience of shooting toward a certain goal and kind of failing but having my efforts bear fruit somewhere else that I never intended so this is convincing me to set goals even if there will be a little bit of failure involved. Sort of like I get on the wrong train but somehow still end up in the right place.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Oh this is so relatable. Goal setting is so hard and also kind of restrictive. I feel like with setting life goals if it isn’t something you really really really want like you need air or food level of want then it just ends up feeling like a chore (eg uni) or something just gets in the way of it because you can’t control the universe. Good luck with your work goals. I’ve never had an important enough job such that I was required to set goals.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I’m totally with you on this, in that I’ve surpassed my mid-thirties and still don’t have any ‘real’ goals, ones that I can truly say are my life ones.

    Looking back is a good way to see how far I’ve come though. I think the danger is that once I surpass any ‘normal goals’ I’ve set for myself, it starts to feel like nothing, instead of an achievement.

    Anyway thanks for this! I love these confessional-type posts.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, it’s interesting to look back. I’m definitely not the same person I was a decade ago (which is both good and bad) and I have accomplished a fair bit since then. Although at the end of the day, measuring success depends on what metrics you use.

      Maybe change your “normal goals” so they’ll feel more substantial? Or set abnormal goals?

      Thanks!

      Liked by 2 people

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