Throughout my life, I feel like the idea of setting goals was drilled into my head. Especially in school, we had goals for everything, from what grade we wanted to get in a class to what job we were aiming for post-grad. Everything I did was carefully calculated and executed based on goals that I helped develop, but were realistically chosen for me. Now that I’m an ~adult~ I am having a much harder time finding purpose and figuring out what my next move should be. At the current moment, I’ve narrowed that problem down to lacking goals is the less structured spaces in my life (i.e. spare time after work). Once I realized this problem, I made a few more personal goals to help me keep to a schedule and keep myself accountable for personal growth outside of the office.
Before I dive in and outline a few examples, I want to explain why these goals are so important for me. I’ve realized recently that I have a very great need for structure in my life. For more perspective, I’m an ESFJ-T on the Myers Briggs test (aka I’m like Monica from friends, high strung and all of those qualities). This mostly means that I greatly enjoy to-do lists, organization, and focus. Goals help me keep my life organized and planned out in a way that keeps me calm and focused. Now, I know this is not the case for everyone, but to-do lists have a calming effect on me in the same way that having free time does for others. I like to have everything I need perfectly laid out in front of me, making sure I don’t forget anything or miss any steps.
Jumping into some examples, I have organized my goals into a few different categories: professional, creative, and athletic. I’m not going to go deep into my professional goals because those I can work on 8 hours a day in the office and aren’t really the area in which I was struggle and want to chat with you all about. Next up is creative. Now you may be wondering, “Why in the world would Nikki have a creative goal? Isn’t the point of being creative also being spontaneous?”. Well, creative can equal spontaneous for some people, but that is not exactly how my brain works. During college I had a ton of creative outlets, I was always making bulletin boards or sorority shirts, even making powerpoint presentations look fancy got out the creativity that I needed. Now that I don’t do those things anymore, I realized how important it was for me to have a creative outlet to make me happy. That is why I started my blog. I needed something creative that I could work on consistently to really flex that muscle in my brain that gets all of the creative juices flowing. My goal here is to write and post once a week. Keeping myself consistent will make sure I don’t fall through the cracks and make writing a lower priority. I am keeping blog writing at the same importance level as running or hanging out with friends. Speaking of running, I have an athletic goal as well. I am running a marathon in October and possibly one more race before the end of the year. I found a training plan online that is going to help me drop my marathon time and I’ve been sticking to it as close as I can. Training for a race gives me so much meaning and purpose. It keeps me organized and on a schedule. The race makes my goals more and more relevant as the race gets closer with each day.
Goal setting is a huge factor that keeps my life focused and on a schedule. It may sound silly, but the simple act of setting a goal can really steer my life in the right direction. These goals get written down in my calendar and are a constant reminder of where I am going. Good luck with your goal setting!