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Thoughts from a reluctant goal-setter

It seems as though lately my online travels keep leading me, again and again, to posts and articles focused on the same word (or, if not the word itself, then the sentiment behind it). Not surprisingly, this ongoing repetition is having the effect of gradually pushing, pulling, and dragging me in the direction of reluctant action.

The ubiquitous word in question?


“Why so reluctant?” you might ask. The thing is, I don’t actually like setting goals, and tend to rebel against doing so (perhaps I’m not alone in this?). It’s a whole lot easier, really, to just drift along with nothing more than a vague idea of where you want to go and just hope you get there some day, somehow, than it is to actually set goals and then work towards fulfilling them.

(Hey, I didn’t say that it would work – I just said that it was easier.)

On top of that, setting goals is frightening. Translating your fragile, unspoken hopes and dreams into something tangible and measurable can be an act of vulnerability and risk. Defining the steps you need to take in order to get where you want to go opens you to the possibility of failure and criticism. Giving an actual shape to a plan of action puts you in a position of accountability with a requirement to follow through.

Frightening indeed.

But lurking behind the cacophony of fear, reluctance, and outright rebellion distracting me into inaction is a small, quiet voice that whispers, “Just give it a shot.”

Just give it a shot… and see what might happen were I to release my hold on that fear of failure and actually take steps toward success.

Just give it a shot… and see what might happen were I to push aside that reluctance to define my dreams and embrace with enthusiasm all of the possibilities and opportunities available for the taking.

Just give it a shot… and see what might happen were I to turn my back on that rebellion against accountability and commit myself with a joyful heart to positive action and progress.

Put in those terms, the ease of aimless drifting starts to lose its surface appeal. Reluctance aside, it may be time for me to pay attention to that little voice and start digging a little deeper.

Are you a reluctant goal-setter?
Have you experienced the benefits of setting goals?

Laurel Storey, CZT – Certified Zentangle Teacher. Writer, reader, tangler, iPhoneographer, cat herder, learner of French and Italian, crocheter, needle felter, on-and-off politics junkie, 80s music trivia freak, ongoing work in progress.