I’ve been thinking a lot lately about goals I’ve set for myself. As I approach my 30th birthday (in 15 months), I can’t help but think about where I thought I would be at this point in my life, where I actually am, and where I want to be. But mostly I’ve been thinking about how goals I set 5 years ago, last year, even this year, no longer mesh with what is important to me.
As I’ve moved through my 20s, I’ve shifted from wanting to busy all the time, having the nicest and trendiest things, and always trying the latest fad, to just being into what I’m into (soccer, nail polish, and trashy romance novels, cat videos on the internet) and being happy with who I am. But many of the goals on my list of things I should be aiming for aren’t actually in line with what I want out of life and are things that were on “30 things to do before you turn 30 lists” or some shit like that. Goals like “make GS-15 status in government job” (that requires supervising and I do not have the temperament or the patience for stupid people), become a photographer (again, I don’t have the patience or the will to tromp around and take photos “for fun,” but I would like to take a class so I can take better photos when I travel), and run a 10k (broken ankles, man). Other goals completely clash with each other, like Aggressively Pay Off Debt vs. Aggressively Save For Future vs. TRAVEL EVERYWHERE WHENEVER I WANT.
What originally got me thinking about this was when I was reviewing my 101 in 1,001 list, and thinking “ugh, crossing that task off is going to suuuuuuuck.” That list is supposed to be about goals I want to achieve, not goals I feel like I’m stuck with having to achieve! So, I’ve decided to amend that list. Anything that’s in bold is a new/amended item that was not on the original list.
I’ve amended other goals of mine as well, goals that are not publicly known, goals that are quite private. Some of them piggyback on to certain 101 in 1,001 goals, others will seem completely out of the blue when they are made known. I have a really, really big goal where I am absolutely sure I am going to fail, but I am still going to try.
As I’ve amended various goals over the past few weeks, I’ve become comfortable with the idea that I’m not going to meet every goal I set for myself. It’s making the effort to meet those goals that is what’s truly important. But also the understanding that goals are what you make of them. If a goal is no longer important to me, why should I continue wasting my time, effort, and resources trying to reach it?