The new year is always full of new goals. We liked the idea of goals set at this time so much that we gave them a special name: New Year resolutions. But I have decided I’m not going to make any goals for this year, well not normal ones anyway.
This year, I am going to make flexible goals. Ones that are clear enough that I know where I am going but I can be flexible with the road to get there. Why and how am I going to this? Well, I’ll tell you since this blog post will be rather short if I don’t (lol).
There was a blog post series written on Eventing Nation last year that was titled something like “making a case for not chasing your goals”. I’ll be honest with you, I haven’t gotten around to reading the series yet (#studentstruggles) but the title got me thinking. Why would you not want to chase your goals. The main thing that popped into my head was the phrase tunnel vision.
I believe I am correct in saying that most of us would say once we are set on doing something there is little that will stop us. Well, that great and very useful unless you miss out on other awesome things because you were so focused on that one task or goal. If we have concrete and specific goals, we may miss out on other great opportunities or burn ourselves out. By focusing more on the process and progress, we allow ourselves some wiggle room and will probably remain happier as time goes on.
We have become so accustomed to step by step instructions that not having a set plan can feel uncomfortable. To help you need to rewire your goal setting strategy.
Your goals should be qualitative instead of quantitative. Everyone has the goal of being fitter in the new year. Some will say, I will work out X number of days per week but fall into a rut when they go off course. Instead, try setting the goal of having a more active lifestyle. This way, you can be flexible about how you obtain that lifestyle and what it looks like as your life progresses.
Competitive riders normally set show goals and schedules. Goals like moving up, lower scores, and higher placed finishes are normal. These are good but try to focus on the progress and qualities. Live for those break through moments. Set goals like smoother transitions or more confident jump rounds. Qualitative instead of quantitative.
Those of us in the STEM world can do the same. Set goals like more efficient code or better running machines. Again focus on goals pertaining to qualities instead of quantities.