In mid-January, I had an incredible business idea. I was so inspired that I just began writing.
Within hours I had a pseudo business plan and surmised the next steps would be to hire a web design firm and flush out proper language for the necessary website.
Then I snapped back to reality. Doubts and questions flooded my mind: What about all the things I was currently working on? How could I possible juggle something new (and so seemingly time consuming)? What about all of the present goals I set for myself, should I just put them aside?
And what about my life
outside of career; would I leave any time for family and friends?
Choosing Between Achieving Goals And The Creative Flow…
In my article How To Set Fantastic, Achievable Goals for 2008 I explained how my system of creating long-term objectives and then working backwards to establish a neat and tidy productivity system can be very effective.
As I contemplated how I would explain myself to loyal We The Changers—that I did not hit ANY of my tangible goals for January—I realized that my stringent system from the previous article does not tell the entire story.
Expect The Unexpected
As you set out to achieve pre-written goals, make sure to reserve space for the “creative you” to craft genuine ideas. This is the main point I missed in my first article, as no productivity system would be worthwhile without the manifestation of fresh concepts.
And when these ”gems” surface, allow yourself to partake in the process as it transpires; do not put it off or be fearful of the other things you should be doing. It always works itself out when you follow your heart.
In my scenario, there were at least 2 semi-big projects that I realized did not need immediate attention. (It’s an amazing experience when you first begin to understand the axiom: almost nothing in life requires immediate attention).
Quickly, I re-arranged my internal and external calendars and made space for the new concept to take form. My moments of stress and questions had subsided, I understood that I could easily work on this project, make it great, and not lose my life!
Remember—truly magical and transcending ideas are never planned. You have to make way for them!
Long-Term Objectives ALWAYS Trump Short Term Goals
It is easy to forget that the primary reason for setting goals and implementing productivity systems is to help you live a wonderful, fulfilling and meaningful life.
When this new project surfaced in my mind, I quickly grasped its potential significance. Successfully completing it could get me one step closer to my loftier dreams!
Could I really put off the new inspiration for the sake of sticking to a pre-defined schedule of monthly, weekly and daily goals? No way. When something happens that strikes a chord within, you have to go for it.
Always have your long-term goals in mind, they keep you on track to the things that are really important. And become very aware if you consistently allow short-term objectives to trump your life’s ambitions!
Set Your Goals And Then FORGET About Them!
After I set goals I rarely spend any time reviewing them. I never ask myself “did I accomplish x, y and z”. Why? Because I find this activity to be a pointless waste of time!
What would really be the point for me to review my January goals? I have just stated that unknowing events brought me new ideas that limited my ability to complete them. I know that, and there is no point in “reviewing” them.
What IS needed is a continual system of re-assessment. Be proactive, and always look forward. On February 1, I started creating my goals for the month ahead and there was a whole new category there (one that was previously unknown). How exciting! That’s how you grow. Don’t review; create!
Should You Set Goals: Yes!
Many readers will ask: “what is the point of setting goals if the ‘unknown’ trumps it all anyway”. Great question! To me, the reason you should set goals is simple: to create a clear vision of your ideal life.
And I HIGHLY recommend making your goals lofty…even larger then you think you should. Making them big makes your life electric, and gives you
something exciting to strive towards.
Be wary of the relentless pursuit of achieving your goals. This mindset can be detrimental and may blind you to bigger and better opportunities that present themselves.
Setting goals should be a flexible, fun, and organic as opposed to dutiful and monotone. Let the universe work for you…allow the unknown to present itself to you and cultivate awareness to take action when it does!
I hope this article helps. The points I am bringing up are relevant to me at the moment, and I look forward to your comments and input!
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