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Monday, November 15, 2021

Re-Calibrating, Eventually

Do you recall the first adult goal you ever set for yourself that you subsequently achieved? How old were you when you set it? How long did it take you to achieve it? 

I'm reasonably sure one of my first goals in adult life - set in my early twenties - was to visit every state in the U.S. Regular readers of my blog may recall I reached that milestone this past May, about a half-century later. Truth be told, I can't recall any extended period in my life when I haven't had at least a few, sometimes several, long-range goals stretching out before me. Unfortunately, I'm all out of half-centuries. And equally unfortunate is the fact that setting goals, including wildly ambitious ones, has always been integral to how I see myself, i.e. a man on a mission. I'm not yet ready to scuttle that persona, but, is it perhaps time for some re-calibrating? After all, Act Three continues to inexorably unfold.

Cull my reading list? Trim the number of places I want to visit? Revise my goals for my guitar playing or my writing? Since even considering any of these things feels to me this moment like surrender, I better give myself more time to re-calibrate.      

       

8 comments:

  1. Thank goodness you set goals and I've learned a little bit about that from you. I don't think I ever intentionally set a goal for myself or had the persistence to reach it, at least until I had been hanging around with you for a while. That is, unless you count setting an annual goal of being 125 pounds and never making it there.

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    1. As usual, you give me much more credit than I deserve. But egotist that I am, I'll take it. Thanks for reading and commenting.

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  2. I guess recalibrating begs the question: do we only set goals we know we can feasibly achieve? Or do we set goals to encourage ourselves to keep reaching, chasing, etc. If it's the latter then don't adjust anything!

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    1. Anonymous; Thanks for the comment. My goals have - more often than not - been the reaching, chasing variety. So, if I follow your counsel, I guess re-calibrating may not be necessary.

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  3. When I was still working, they had a thing called "stretch goals." That would qualify, I think, for Anonymous' second category. I still set goals that encourage growth but if it isn't even feasible, why do it? I am setting little goals for myself as opposed to big multi-year ones. I guess that is a function of getting older. It works for me and I don't beat myself up if I don't achieve the goal. I just move on:).

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    1. Ines; Thanks for the comment. As always, it's about striking a good balance. But you nailed the essence of what I was reflecting on here, i.e. the finite time left and how any goals I set that could take me many years are probably in need of re-calibrating.

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  4. Good morning, Pat. The goals that I had set would be mostly employment related. And, through hard work and wonderful support and, yeah, some good luck, I was able to reach most of the ones that I set for myself. Of course, my career was not what I had envisioned for myself at an earlier age. But 'Becoming Rich and Famous' isn't really a feasible goal, is it? Well, maybe for some, and maybe with more hard work, dedication, patience, etc, etc, etc. Never mind.. I'm sticking with it not being feasible - lol. As for now, I try to set much smaller and more personal goals. Things such as spending more time with family, exercising more, practicing more, and overall just doing more are good goals for retirement and I'm getting better at trying to reach these. I admit that they're not the most exciting, but there's time for those as opportunities present themselves.
    Be well,
    Bob

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    1. Bob; Thanks - as always - for your faithful patronage of my blog. And thanks also for telling me about your journey with goals. Aside from the re-calibrating I'm now considering, a big lifelong challenge for me has been the balance between having goals (putting aside how ambitious or feasible they were/are) and being sure I remember to be in the moment. By the time I get that part figured out, I probably won't remember why it mattered in the first place. Oh well; begin, again

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