Last summer I began teaching in a technical school, professional development classes for film/audio and media students. I always begin my classes with 2 assignments a networking chart and a goals list.
I’ve since learned that the students have done goals lists out the wazoo and are sick and tired of doing them, they’ve done them for every class for the past 5 years, they’ve done them for high school courses, and for our courses so I’ve decided that I’m taking this assignment out, for now.
However, I realized that it has been a long time since I’ve done my goals. The past 2 years have been all about self discovery trying to figure out who and what I want to be but not how long it will take me to get there and how I’m going to make it happen. So, at the beginning of this semester I thought I should put my money where my mouth is and do my own goals list.
What I traditionally assign is a 1,3,5 & 10 year goals list – no specific amount of goals per year, just what you would like to have happen and they must be realistic goals, no Maserati by year 10. Easy to do right? Wrong! First of all, it’s actually hard to sit down and think about where you’re going, year 1 and 10 are the easiest or so it seems. I know how old I’ll be in 10 years (55) and I know that I’ll be approaching retirement age and I’ll need some money to make sure that I’m ok in my old age and there are things along the way I’d like to have happen.
I’d love to do more traveling, I want to be happy and spend time at my cottage, I don’t want to work my self to death and not be able to enjoy life but I also don’t want the stress of worrying about how the bills will get paid. A fine balance.
It was surprising how long it took me to write the goals – I would have failed (as one of my students pointed out to me) because it took me longer than a week to get it done. I sat in my living room and tried to get them written but no go. Although strangely enough the magazine I was using as a “table”, when I happened to glance down at it under my paper – the advertisement was all about setting goals and making them happen. No such thing as coincidence.
One morning a few weeks ago I decided that enough was enough and that I needed to buckle down and get them done. I put on my winter woolies, it was still cold here then, and walked to the new coffee shop at the other end of the board walk (just to get some perspective on this, I passed 4 coffee shops before reaching this one). I bought myself a tea and a croissant (not bad for here) put my head phones to block out the screaming kids (why do parents let their kids scream in public places?) and started writing. 1 hour and 1/2 later I had eaten most of the croissant, my tea was cold (the kids had moved on) and I had a goal list stretching 10 years of my life. I was quite pleased with myself.
I came back to my apartment and put the goals away, I haven’t read them since….I think since some major changes have to happen in my life in the next month and a half – another move and a more permenent job has to happen, I’m going to have to read my goals and make some choices. I can take two paths to make my goals happen – the fast one which will give me a high pressured job with good money but no time for anything but work but will make me reach those goals faster or a slower pace, happier me maybe lower pay, maybe not, but will make me take the entire 10 years to get to the goals.
I like to think I’ll take the 2nd solution. I did move here for a slower pace more fulfilled life they always say that following your bliss will bring happiness and the money will follow, I like the idea of that – but since life is in flux right now I’ll have to wait and see what it has in store for me. Meanwhile, I’m going to re-read those goals I set and do some visualization to make them happen.
Oh, and if anyone is interested in renting my cottage over the summer please let me know …. yup, that’s one of my goals!
Dreaming Big from the East Coast,