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Goal Setting

Wednesday, August 07, 2019

I read again and again that I need goals. Some advocate measurable goals, things that can be done, and can be measured, and you can chart progress toward, or, at least, attainment of such goals. Others advocate finding a goal you are passionate about; something that will drive you to action and, hopefully, success. But even without total attainment, a journey worth the effort that is its own reward.

I can't find goals of either sort. I can make up measurable goals. But they're boring and, if no one but myself cares whether I accomplish them, then they seem shallow and not worth any effort.

As for passionate goals - after world peace and good health and safety for all children, I come up short on things to do. And even for such worthy goals as world peace, no sense of an effort that will actually bring the goal closer.

This leaves me with lots of empty time to do things of no importance at all - like gardening, household maintenance (minor - not critical stuff), reading about interesting things, taking naps.

I guess my goals were often provided me by my work environment. Even when I was the guy in charge, locally, the goals of the entire organization were obvious and my ability to contribute was also obvious. No longer the case. No organizational goals and no particular reward for reaching any goal at all.

Rewards. What might they be? In the past, promotion or budget might have been incentives. Anything promoting an endorphin storm might have been, might yet be, a strong reward. But right now it's hard to think of anything actually worth doing. I'm not saying that doing certain kinds of things is not worthwhile. Doing some sorts of things could and can be a social goods. But I can say I'm not excited, drawn, or passionate about anything out there.

So, my advice to me, "keep searching."
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    476 days ago
  • DESIREE672
    I’m going to retire in a year and a half. I’m guessing that it’s not an easy transition. Great advice here - volunteering or maybe a part-time job? Probably anything involving lots of contact with people.
    476 days ago
    What's wrong with a boring goal? Add them all up and you've accomplished something.
    476 days ago
    Interesting blog - thank you. I suffered from a loss of goals/purpose some years back. Career over, children grown, older relatives no longer with us. The main drivers of my life evaporated within a couple of years. I won't pretend it's easy to deal with.

    One thing that helped was volunteering. It doesn't work for everyone but it helped me feel valued, especially when I was able to use work-related skills (finance in my case). After retirement, it's easy to feel that all those years of studying, working to develop ourselves, pushing ourselves for promotions and challenges etc, have no meaning or value any more. So much work and effort and what's it all worth now? But by using my knowledge and experience to help others I got a resurgence of the satisfaction I used to feel when completing a project or getting that promotion. I suppose that's what you mean by 'endorphin storm' (brilliant phrase - haven't come across it before!)

    I still have ups and downs. Something will work for a while but then I need to move on. But then, I was like that when I was working too - always needed new challenges, got bored easily.

    Like you say - keep searching!
    476 days ago
    Sounds like vanilla ice-cream to me (my favorite). I made a gratefulness goal...to think of 3 things I'm grateful for each day and why I'm grateful for them and to enter it all in a journal. I found the reward in this to be joy. Today, a goal might be to plant and care for a productive vegetable garden. There are so many steps involved with achieving this goal! The reward here is in the preparing and eating of truly fresh, delicious food - with fewer calories as well as the exercise gained procuring it. My husband likes to do this as a hobby and it brings him great joy along with a slimmer body. Think about what it is that you want, really and truly want out of life, then write this down on paper. Would you like to learn a foreign language? Learn a new musical instrument? Learn to cook really well? Become a writer? Are you longing for adventure? Love? Peace? Health? Prosperity? Friends? What legacy do you want to leave behind when everything is said and done? Life doesn't end when we retire...it's just beginning! emoticon
    476 days ago
    Some of my goals are not weight related. Ex: fitting into an old pair of jeans, committing to social engagements to get out of the house, etc. I hope you find goals that with help you find more joy in your day to day :)
    476 days ago
    I make small goals like 5 lbs. at a time and I don't get stressed out. It's easy to reach 5 lbs.
    476 days ago
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