This is another in a series of posts derived from my book, “Sustainable You,” a workbook that explores the implications of the question, “What good is sustaining the planet if we’re not sustaining ourselves?”
Where do you want to go?
It’s a good question for cabbies and travel agents, because they can’t get you there if you don’t tell them.
The same goes for destinations more important than just your next vacation. Like, where do you want your relationship with your oldest child to be in 10 years? Or, what level of fitness do you want when you reach age 50? Or, what legacy of volunteerism or charity do you want to leave?
This may seem obvious, and yet, it sure wasn’t for me. I hated that question in the job interview where they’d want to know where I saw myself in 10 years. My only answer, which I’m sure never won me any points, was, “I just want to be further ahead.” If that’s better than “I dunno,” I dunno how.
If the road is one-laned, with no turn-offs, “further ahead” is pretty easy to define. But who thinks such questions are that simple?
The “best” reason not to set a goal is that having declared it, you create an expectation. It might be within yourself, or even worse, on the record with others. Then you have to assess how to get there, and get started.
There’s no guarantee that setting a goal will lead to achieving that goal. But not setting a goal is a pretty reliable way to ensure you won’t get there.