I'm working on living a more intentional life which I believe will help me achieve my personal and professional goals. As part of this I've been thinking a lot about where I want to be in ten years, bucket lists, and life goals. Identifying and naming the goals and plans is a great way to give voice to your desires. It often seems that by simply naming the goals, something is triggered in our subconscious selves that quietly drives our energy and focus. I like to think of the goals and plans as an outline for life--you may not know all the details but you know the direction you want to go. You may not even know how you are going to achieve the goals but having them identified and named is critical.
Once you've worked to identify your goals, plans or passions it's natural to think about where they will take you in life. It is not critical to know or define the details and logistics of how you will achieve those goals or what will happen when you achieve those goals. I tend to get mired in the details--how will the schedule work? When will I get any time to run? How will we afford daycare? What about insurance? And on and on and on. Here's the thing---no one knows, and that's okay. It's best to create the framework and not worry about filling in the details until something actually happens. I am notoriously bad at this--it makes my husband crazy.
When I catch myself heading down the road of details related to long-term plans/goals, I try to stop and realize I'm not there yet. Life, plans and schedules will likely be totally different by the time the goal actually happens so I don't need to worry or obsess about it. Sometime it works, not always. I've used a few different strategies to try and break out of this pattern:
- I try to remind myself that the details usually work themselves out. It's not always easy or what you planned but one way or another it will work.
- We don't know what the future holds--remember, even the best laid plans go awry
- Often everything works out just as it is supposed, regardless of the amount of my planning or worrying
- Realizing that the worrying and obsessing just causes stress and doesn't actually accomplish anything. It actually detracts from my overall goals because my energy is sapped from the worry and can deflate my enthusiasm for my big life plans.