Friday, January 9, 2009

Setting Goals

Why is it that setting goals always feels to me like self-limitation? I guess it doesn't make much sense but deep down I feel that if I say "I'm going to do thus and such at this specific time" something else will present itself and I will be forced to let one go in order to accomplish the other. So I keep my options open.

keeping options open

But there's a problem with open options. If nothing occurs to fill the empty time then I accomplish nothing. Essentially I am allowing the universe to set goals for me and the universe is annoyingly fickle. Today it wants the laundry done but before the task is complete it will decide that the cat's claws need to be clipped or a dinner for seven must be assembled.

Of course, this is a reoccurring topic for me, because I don't learn from previous mistakes and therefore I must repeat them again and again and... again, but I'm getting too old for this.

Am I too old | Is it too late

At the rate I'm going I will be folding towels on my death bed while wondering if I will be able to work on a novel in heaven, or hell. So I resolve to set some goals, to make a schedule, to push myself into making a few decisions. Then I sit and stare at a blank piece of paper and try to figure out how I can possibly commit to steering my own life. It's much easier to deal with consequences when you let the universe decide your fate.

no sign

Making decisions means defending my choices and saying "No" to opportunities and, more agonizingly, to those I love who are accustomed to me being available when they might need me.

How do you choose?

Photos courtesty of Flickr and anatomist, 917press, and zen


Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

That is why I plan and goal set fanatically--I don't want life just happening to me--I want to decide what I want out of life.

There is danger in overplanning, but I think there is more danger in not planning enough.

Ginaagain said...

Jenn, you need to do an online seminar. Planning 101 or "How To Do Way More Than You Thought Humanly Possible"

Laura/CenterDownHome said...

It's hard to plan if you don't know what you want. Hard to chart your course if you don't know where you're going.

Making a list of wants feels good, energizing. Don't worry about limitations or things that stand in your way. Just make a wish list.

I want to write a short story and submit it to _______.

Sometimes just daring to voice our desires gets the ball rolling.

Hugs to you, Gina. (And I don't write that "hugs" stuff often!)

Sara Moriarty-delaFuente said...

I stuggle with this myself. In fact I was pondering this same thing in my morning pages on Tuesday. I am astounded by how "on the same wave length" we seem to be. It so nice to know I'm not the only one with doubts and second-guesses.

I am planning a trip up to Tacoma in mid-February, not sure on the specifics just yet, and would love to make a stop to have coffee with you. I'll email you when I have dates. I'd be thrilled to meet you in person.

peace and magic to you, Gina

Sara Moriarty-delaFuente said...

Oh... and I love love love your photographs. They really tell a story.

Laume said...

How do you choose? Well, I still haven't figured it out. But after reading this post I have another question - Are we the same person???? I coulda written the same thoughts. In fact, I think I have.