Write Goals

You can’t make your choices on the basis of a fifty-year projection. You have to be guided by your belief that this is the best course for you for NOW, and if in five or ten years your priorities change, well, if you’re a resourceful person, you can figure out how to adapt. Peter Guralnick

New Year New Goals…Please NO

As the New Year approaches, we start reflecting on new beginnings, considering new hopes for the future and most commonly thinking about new goals…

I have worked with clients who do not see value in writing goals. You agree and that is why you are reading this.

I am certain that you have good reasons for not wanting to write goals or creating a career action plan. It could that you tried it before and it did not work. Or you felt frustrated when you could not attain a particular goal. More possibly still, you wrote a goal and had to change it for what felt like a million times.

Here is an idea for you to check out!

How would you feel if I told you to forget about writing goals for now?

Do Not Write Goals

Instead, I invite you to think about your favorite memories.

What did you want most in life and got?

What made you happy?

What led you to feel accomplished?

The idea at this point is to focus on positive experiences and how they made you feel. I ask myself these questions on a regular basis. The answers help me stay focused and of course, see value in creating and pursuing new goals.

What Makes You Happy

When I ask these and other questions that help clients reflect on what makes them happy, some clients are very clear on what they want, on the things that will make them happy and can be very specific when thinking of achievements. Other clients find it hard to answer these questions. I explain my reasons behind this line of questioning. The most important reasons are:

If you do not know where you are going, how are you going to get there?

If you do not know what you want, how will the hiring manager know?

If you do not know what makes you happy, how will you be happy?


Here some suggestions to facilitate reflection on the three questions.

Dig deep into past happy memories and forgotten dreams.

Try to be as specific as you can.

Write down the memory, record your voice telling it or if you prefer share it with someone who can help.

Life gets in the way and we tend to forget what is important to us. I asked myself these questions many years ago and it seems that I have been building on them year after year. One of my dreams and accomplishments included receiving a doctorate degree.

Goals You Have Accomplished

I have completed my degree and oh what a feeling that was!

As I worked for that goal, the journey was tough and there were times when I was ready to give up. Having goals and keeping my eye on the dream kept me going.

The light at the end of the tunnel helped me persist in handling the constant revisions of my thesis and persevere in focusing on the smaller goals. In the process, I remembered that I really enjoyed going to school and university. The tests I passed and the positive reviews were the little lights that made the journey fulfilling. I discovered that I am a lifelong learner. I continue to cherish and honor this value by learning and researching.

Reflect – What Makes You Happy

I invite you today to take a break from writing your goals and focus on what specifically makes you happy.

Be as detailed as you can! Let me know how that goes and we can work on the next set of questions.

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