on goal setting.

After publishing yesterday’s post, I broke into a sweat almost immediately.  What did I just do?  How am I going to even accomplish these “simple” goals when I forget to eat breakfast and lunch most days?  Why did I have to publicize them and put unnecessary added pressure on myself?  I have a little over 4 months to achieve these goals…am I crazy?

As sheer panic and self-doubt set in, I came across this article.  Instead of focusing what I still had to accomplish this year, I started to reflect on what I actually have achieved this year and began listing my own set of personal mountains I have conquered so far in 2010:

  • Not only have I adjusted to 5 children, I have thoroughly enjoyed finding a new family rhythm.  Because of this, I have been increasingly comfortable taking the kids out on all-day excursions on my own.
  • I fit into my pre-pregnancy clothes (yay!) and feel stronger and more energetic than I have felt in the last 2 years.  Though I am proud that I have lost almost 30lbs this year through hard work, I am happy that I have embraced the exercise and moderate eating habits as a lifestyle – no crash dieting or extreme workouts.
  • Ever-Patient and I celebrated 10 years of marriage and did so in the most wonderfully understated manner:  we took a 3 hour bike ride together – this is something we’ve never done together and something I personally haven’t done in a long time.
  • We have purged about 25% of our belongings and are still in the process of getting rid of more – we are hoping to be living with 50% less by the end of the year.
  • I have managed to spend one on one time with each of the kids at least once a month since the beginning of the year.
  • With the exception of a few weeks here and there, I have kept up with blogging and documenting the events (and non-events) in our lives.
  • I was able to plan and execute 3 birthday parties with school friends this year – a first!
  • We introduced family challenges for 5 months.  My favourites included “Vegetarian Month” and “One Bowl Challenge.”  Each of these will be repeated in the future.
  • After only a week, #4 is fully toilet trained.  It was a bit of an adventure but we did it!  (Rest assure that there is going to be a full post on this soon.)
  • I have managed to take all of the kids to the following places multiple times on my own:  the Zoo, Ontario Place, the Beach, and all during the first week of #4’s toilet training and still live to talk about it.
  • We finally have some Lopez Family of 7 pictures! More on that soon.
  • I have conquered laundry.  There really hasn’t been a pile up since this post.
  • With the help from a friend (who happens to be a landscaper) and his wife, we finally did something with our lawn after years of it being disheveled and unkempt – basically, it looked like the back of #3 and #4’s head after getting out of bed.

I’m sure there are few molehills that I’ve been able to hurdle over that are missing from this list.  I love how that article was able to remind me that I had already rose to the occasion when confronted with everyday life’s challenges.

Setting goals can sometimes backfire and just bring feelings of inadequacy and self-defeat to the surface when its initial intent was to motivate and spur action.  This is what happened last night.  The optimism and associated euphoria I felt after creating the goals quickly dissipated as all the other things on my to-do lists began to amass in my mind.  How was I going to accomplish these goals in addition to my already expanding list of responsibilities?

From the article, this is one of the tidbits that really put things in perspective: “You won’t summit every one you come across, but you will become a better person with each attempt.”  There will undoubtedly be many mountains that will conquer me and goals that will be left unfulfilled…for now.  But at least I am making an attempt.  I am making an effort at becoming better, becoming more, at…becoming.  Each goal I set illustrates my quest to just be more than I am, to grow as a human being, and to demonstrate the belief that I can be more.  Isn’t that what this journey, this life is all about?  Pushing ourselves past the perceived limits.  Pushing ourselves to a realized potential.  Pushing ourselves to test our strengths.  Pushing ourselves in order to know failure and how to rise above it.

With this new-found love of goal setting, I am going to institute a new tradition in our household.  On each birthday, the celebrant must write 5 goals they would like to accomplish that year…big or small.  (I’m wondering if I can get this going for this year even though most of our birthdays have past already.)

If we consistently set goals, we shouldn’t view it as such a Sisyphean effort.  There will always be the next mountain to climb and the next peak to reach or almost reach.  But isn’t that the true goal in life?  To find happiness in the knowledge that when we start our descent from the mountain, there is another one waiting around the corner.

3 responses to “on goal setting.

  1. Sunny, I think I’ve caught a strain of the same bug. Something I’ve come to realize lately is that there will always be new challenges, goals, objectives. We can’t allow our neuroses and our guilt/shame about previous failures get in the way of, well, actually accomplishing the thing, because those feelings are meaningless. The only person telling us that we can’t do what we want, or that we can’t be THAT person is, well, ourselves. And really, since when has that little, nagging voice in our heads ever helped us achieve anything?

    Go for it.

  2. rozannelopez

    I totally agree. The real challenge is also embracing that nagging voice as an integral part of who we are, acknowledging its presence, and to keep moving forward rather than ignoring it or pushing it aside. Trying to hush it only makes it that much louder in our heads.

  3. Oh, definitely. If we can see the negativity inside ourselves, acknowledge it, and USE IT when beneficial, we become so much better for it. Lord knows we can’t get rid of it, so we may as well do SOMETHING with it, if we can.

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