How do you know when you're holding on to a goal that no longer serves you? Different from dreams, goals are typically short-term and easy to knock off your to-do list. Sometimes you hold on to a goal so no long it no longer makes sense for the person you are today. It can be difficult to decipher when it's time to dig deep and find the courage to move forward despite your doubts or to call out your cowardly behavior if you're just hiding behind your fears.
In this week's Sun-day design I want you to think about a goal you've held longer than a year. I know there's at least one. Now put a stake in the ground and give that goal an expiration date. Decide when it's time to thankfully gleam the life lessons that the experience of pursing the goal has given you. Unlike a carton of milk the expiration date for your goals may not be marked so clear. Here are 4 clues to identify the goal you may be ready to release:
1. You view releasing that goal as a sign of defeat. You wanted it for so long and invested so much time and energy and refuse to quit now when you should gleam your gems from this life lesson and move on. Remind yourself that sometimes the biggest value is in the journey and not the destination.
2. You worry what others will say. You desperately want to avoid the look of pity from people who view your change in direction as as sign of weakness or cowardice. Silence the noise from people around you and even the doubter in your head. Show yourself some compassion and listen to your heart.
3. You don't know what to do next. If not this goal then what? You are unsure what exactly you should focus your time and energy on so you hang on to a goal that doesn't make sense. Reasses other areas of life and invest in activities that offer you a greater physical, intellectual, spiritual or emotional return.
4. You've lost faith in yourself. Pursuing your goal takes work and no longer believe you have what it takes to achieve it. The work for you is not in the tactical steps toward the goal as much as it requires doing the inner work to build your confidence, competence and self-esteem to believe in yourself again.
Maybe your goal was to lose 20-lbs and in your heart you really don't want to lose the weight. You like your curves wish others would keep their opinions at bay. For me, the goal I've graciously let expire was to eliminate all debt by this year. It was a three-year plan I established a few years ago and with just one-third left this year, I decided to pursue two other goals that were more important to me this one - paying for my son's academic tutoring and planning a trip to celebrate a key milestone birthday. I renegotiated my time-frames so that I feel good about my long-term dreams and short-term goals.
Be willing to listen to your heart and your body. Face, flex or forgo any goal that no longer enables your greater good. Be an inspiration to others and share the goals you're releasing or giving a by when date.
The life we experience is designed to help us grow. My wish is that you learn from me as much as I learn from you. Share your life lessons and let's build together.