the goal list

February 14, 2014

I’m a big fan of setting goals.  I’ve written about it, given talks about it.  Since I was a teenager, I’ve used a goal-setting technique based on a timeline:  where do I want to be in ten years?  What do I want to have accomplished in five years?  By the end of the year?  I’d review my goals every year, adjust as needed.  This was a good way to make sure I was doing the little stepping stones that were necessary to achieve my long-term goals.

This method has fallen apart for me over the last few years.  Mainly because I did it all.  Just about everything on that long-term goal list?  Making a living as a writer, my house, etc.?  Done.  My “where do I want to be in ten years?” list had turned in to “Same as now, only more so,” which is too vague to be useful.  “Just keep doing the same things I’ve been doing” might be accurate but it feels…stagnant.

This year, I hit on a new way to handle my goal list and goal setting.  Instead of setting everything up against a timetable — which simply isn’t as useful at age 41 as it was when I was 20 — I’ve set up a rolling list of projects:  things I want to write, things I want to try, places I want to travel, and so on.  Because that’s where I’m at now:  I have this whole big list of things I want to do, but they’re not dependent on time or place, they’re just things I have to decide to do either now or later.  And I don’t have to do them all at once.  Every month or so, look at the list:  what am I going to do next? What projects are ongoing, and which are do them and they’re done?  What makes sense for me to work on now?

I think this is going to be a good way to make me feel like I’m still making progress without imposing the stress of an artificial timeline.  I’m excited.  Let’s see how this goes.

4 Responses to “the goal list”

  1. Thomas Stacey Says:

    That is very interesting to hear how you are changing your goals somewhat but still keeping some kind of action plan or list to help you get to do everything you want.

    It is really helpful and gives me some ideas on how to break my goals into small steps to move me towards those big goals. Such as how to move into a networking or system administrator position from on site technical support and how to get/save the money to buy a house. The biggest part of my buying a house/condo goal is already in place and going along well with me being caught up on bills, building several different savings, and slowly but surely paying off all my debt so that i can put even more in savings. I’m excited for you and excited for myself both!

  2. Janice Says:

    I love this.

  3. Jim Van Pelt Says:

    My takeaway from your whole, cool post is, “My god! Carrie’s 41!” Somehow, strangely, thismakes me feel old.

  4. carriev Says:

    Yup, Jim. I’m “middle aged.” Heh.

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