Are Goals a Thing of the Past?


Hey friends and Happy Monday!

I hope you all had a beautiful weekend. John and I had such a good one filled with the farmer’s market, social distancing dinners, and yard work. I have to say that quarantine life can be very hard in so many ways, but there are some good things to it too that I sometimes forgot about.

For today’s blog post I am going to work on shifting your thinking a little bit though…you can take what you would like from it, but ultimately if all I get out of this is for you to pause and think, then we have success.

First question: What are you five year goals?

We get asked this question a lot.

It’s meant to trigger a growth mindset and we are told that by setting “goals” we will achieve them.

Employers ask this question, friends ask it when we are feeling lost, parents ask it…we as a society strongly believe that it is important to have goals, and it is through the setting of these goals, we able to create direction and focus for our lives.

The second question: How are you going to get there?

How are you going to reach these goals?

One of my favorite bloggers talks about creating a strategic future by design and I love this concept – You take your bigger goal and think about what the step before it looks like, then the step before that. In this way you create a road map to your successful future that has essential stops along the way. Reach one stop, then proceed to the next turn, then you get to the highway, etc. All the way until you reach your “destination.”

This has been by far my favorite method for goal setting. I love creating a strategic practice of meeting the goals I set for myself…up until now.

What if we threw the concept of goals out the window?

What if, instead, we focused on the here and the now. What are two to three things we can do to make ourselves better right NOW.

I’ll give you an example.

I am a nurse. Ultimately I want to be the best nurse I can possibly be. What are three things I can work on to make me a better nurse?

  1. Read nursing journals – these have research articles with the most up-to-date information that will help me guide my practice. In turn, I am able to become a better advocate for my patients, I know the most recent research, and I will most likely be learning new information.
  2. Researching diseases, procedures, and meds I am not familiar with – we encounter these daily in our nursing practice. I could use Up-To-Date and print off information and read it at home
  3. Journal on my day – this will help relieve stress, reflect on ways I could have improved my care, remember patients and situations, and ultimately decompress

Through focusing on these three things, I will become a much stronger nurse. My knowledge and advocacy will be demonstrated in my everyday patient care and that in turn will become apparent to my colleagues making me a resource to them. This in turn will lead to recognition by the physicians and management, which will then lead to more potential growth opportunities.

By not focusing on the specific goal (perhaps in this scenario a goal may be to enter management), you are focusing on the important methods of simply becoming better. You are learning, doing, and advocating in a way that not only gets you to “goals,” but that also helps you fall in love with the process.

When you focus on improvement, you are focusing on you and what you can do to become better. This removes the focus from a “goal” and turns it onto you.

Perhaps, though, you aren’t where you want to be in life right now…perhaps, you aren’t in a career that is fulfilling or satisfying? That is okay and the same concept can be applied. Just shift it towards your interests and through this process, you will be able to begin cultivating that new reality.

Then, as you begin to develop in your areas and become stronger, shift them to ones that need more cultivation.

It has been amazing to me to see that instead of focusing on a big massive goal, and honing in on smaller ones that need cultivation, I have been able to grow in a totally different way. I also feel that opportunities I may not have realized because of being goal-foused, have presented themselves and I think that is what makes this process so good. You don’t become blind-sided. You learn to love the process instead of end-game and your grow as a person in a totally different way.

I do have to agree that not all methods work for everyone.

Take what works for you. Perhaps it is the strategic future by design approach, or setting big goals is what works for you. That is fine. Do what works for you.

I am also aware that this process has probably already been said before. I am not taking it as my own, but I do hope to introduce my audience to a new way of thinking.

Let me know your thoughts and I hope you enjoyed this one!






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