January is the time of the year we all set goals. It’s now the first of February. Have you set your goals? Are you keeping your commitments? If not, maybe it’s time to take stock and establish some different priorities. Are your goals really what you want them to be or have you just kept the same ones year after year out of habit?
It’s healthy for you to amend your desires as you progress through life. Some of your goals at age 20 will not be the same when you reach age 60. Enjoy the ride along the way and change when you find it necessary.
A young friend of mine worked toward a wonderful career goal. She had almost finished her education when she decided to marry and have children. However, she chose to complete her education and internship so she would be employable after her children were in school. She temporarily set her career goal aside.
I have a dear cousin who didn’t marry until her late thirties. She was a teacher and influenced the lives of many youth. She had a tough decision to make when her children came along. Should she continue to teach until she had enough years for full retirement or should she bail out of her hard-earned vocation? She decided to continue her career. Some years she taught part time, some full time, until she had earned her retirement benefits.
As a young mother, my children seemed to consume me. I didn’t have time for much else. When they became more self-sufficient, I returned to school and accomplished my goal to become a therapist. Now, as a grandmother, I’m able to pursue writing interests. I love this time of life and am grateful to have the opportunity to balance my time between family and personal goals.
A jet-setter friend loved to travel and circled the globe several times, but as she grew older, she found solace in her flower garden and the quiet life at home. She adjusted her goals to fit her lifestyle.
Where are you on life’s path? Where do you want to be in a year, five years, or twenty? Set your priorities accordingly.
If we were to line 50 people up and give them a situation where they were to set goals, each of them would probably handle the particular circumstance a little differently. There isn’t a right or wrong to their decisions, the important point is that they plan ahead and make a choice.
Swap goals, exchange goals, refurbish goals, cast aside goals, but:
Set goals and plan, plan, plan.
Christy Monson is a retired family therapist and the author of Becoming Free, publishing this fall from Familius.