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The Broadside

The Student News Site of Central Oregon Community College

The Broadside

The Student News Site of Central Oregon Community College

The Broadside

The dark side of goal setting

Kamran Aydinov
Image by Freepik

There’s a dark side to goal setting. It’s the side that like our New Year’s Resolutions, ends up buried at the bottom of the junk drawer.

It’s the goal we now regret sharing with our closest friends and family members, and it’s the goal that we began with so much fervor, at one point, it was all we could think about.

For many of us, it tends to be smack dab in the painstaking middle.

It’s the place where we’re supposed to somehow see the joy in our grueling journey, and if we don’t have enough momentum to get to the finish line, we often quit prematurely.

These patterns of behavior can eventually affect other areas of our lives if habit-forming because everything new is exciting in the beginning.

But when the new isn’t new anymore, or we’ve invested more in our expectations of an outcome, reaching our goals can leave us feeling disappointed in the anticlimactic finish.

I’m guilty of running on the hedonic treadmill of goal setting and achieving a time or two, and for me, the jury’s still out on whether or not the “joy is actually in the journey.”

A lesson I’ve learned from Abraham Hicks, an inspirational speaker and author is, “You can’t get there from here.”

Get where? Anywhere.

If we want to accomplish anything, it’s critical to be in a positive mental and emotional state of well-being.

So when Hicks says, “you can’t get there from here,” he means, it’s difficult reaching a goal if we’re sad, depressed, lacking motivation, straight-up avoiding the process altogether, or if the current goal involves peeling us from the sheets of our beds.

Setting all the S.M.A.R.T. goals in the world won’t change this.

We can set as many “specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound goals” as we want, but if we’re taking action from a defeated place of being, we may throw in the towel on our very achievable goals too early.

When we attempt to skip the discomfort of the painful halfway point or the knowledge of a goal not working out even if we reach it, is what separates a lawyer from law students who quit before taking the bar exam, an inspiring writer finishing their book, or any of us from letting another year pass by with our goals right alongside with it.

Before revisiting your list of goals, do something that gets you to a more optimistic and inspired mindset, even if that means binging out on cat videos for a weekend. Take the time and do whatever it takes to get back to feeling good and inspired again.

And if you get to the place where you feel like giving up, remember three things: if you never quit on your goal, eventually you will achieve it, two, I’m rooting for you, and three, so are your goals.

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