A good friend of mine (we'll call her Roxanne) is so goal-oriented, that as soon as she gets close to achieving a goal, she starts to stress out about what her next goal will be.
I always find this amusing because the goals she achieves are impressive, but she rarely stops to celebrate her accomplishments. Instead, her mind races forward into the future to see what else she can add to her list of goals, even before she gets to the finish line with the current one.
So in an attempt to apply this week's "Live in the Now" theme to a real-life situation, I decided to ask her what would happen if she didn’t set the next goal before finishing the current one.
But the conversation didn't go quite the way I'd expected...
(Most of the following interview is verbatim, but parts are paraphrased to protect confidentiality.)
"You're gonna be shocked, but..."
Kristin: What is one of your current goals?
Roxanne: Well there’s always like 50,000 of them, how do you narrow them down? I have short-term work-related goals that I’m meeting.
And then in terms of longer-term goals, you’re gonna be shocked, but I don’t think I have any right now.
"Now I'm at a crossroads"
Roxanne: I finally just this past November ran the New York City marathon, so I met my marathon goal. So that’s been accomplished.
I've been wanting to get a vacation house up here, so we went around looking, found one, and I bought it. So that goal’s been accomplished.
At work, after six months of negotiations, I had a pretty major work accomplishment.
So now I'm at a crossroads.
"I can't think of any goals"
Roxanne: My organization had a huge success, but now it’s tons of work. We need to hire people and we haven’t, and I keep getting overloaded with more and more work. I was doing the work of close to four people, but now it’s even more exaggerated. And it’s not going to get better.
So I’m not sure what it is work-wise left that I really want to accomplish. I can’t think of any goals that would be professionally fulfilling right now.
"My goals would be all on the personal side"
Roxanne: Personally, I haven’t had the opportunity to take care of myself. So if I had goals right now, my goals would be all on the personal side.
Because once again I have lost my work-life balance and I need to get that back in focus again. And that includes getting back to recognizing that I need to exercise, and I need to eat right.
Since the marathon, I’ve gained 20 pounds. I would have a goal of losing my 20 pounds if I wasn’t so crazy busy at work right now, which is causing me to eat even more, and probably gain even more weight.
And then on top of all that, my mom is having serious health issues. So I haven’t had basically three seconds to myself in a very long time.
So I had a hell of a 2014.
"Does that count as a goal?"
Roxanne: So now the real goals are to get my life back in balance, because this is just a mess.
So I'm at a crossroads because at any moment I could quit my job. I’m at the top end of what I can realistically do as one person. And this vacation house up here that I bought, the mortgage is only $600, so I could live here and work at Starbucks (if there was a Starbucks, but there isn’t.)
If worse comes to worst, if I just lose it completely and quit one day, don’t worry because what I’ll do is just come this summer or next year and do the Appalachian trail, just take the six months and walk on the trail. As long as my two mortgages are paid, I’m good, and they’re on auto-pay.
So I need a break from my life. Does that count as a goal?
© 2015 Dr. Kristin Rose