In town from Colorado, I got talking to my husband's, Uncle Pat, at Christmas - and he said something really interesting. Which he kind of usually does. He said something about the difference between having goals and having a direction. I wish I could have talked to him more about it, but then I think we got bombarded with kids and gifts and whatnot and that was it. Nonetheless it has stuck with me. The topic seems fitting at the crest of a new year. So here goes...
In the line of work I do, as you can imagine, the topic of goals comes up quite a bit. Sometimes it's a goal to lose 100 pounds. Sometimes it's a goal to drink less pop and more water. Whatever the case your goal is that, specific and measurable ideally, thing you are working on. Which can be helpful if it moves you in a desired direction. And meaningless if you just chase random goals around. His point (I think, like I said we were interrupted) was that some people have goals, while others have direction - and as long as you have something, is one really better than the other? I don't know. But as I think about it - and honestly I'm think out loud here a bit - even though I've heard many times how goals are so critical to success, the question is giving me pause. You can say all day long you want to lose 20 pounds, but if you don't have a meaningful reason for it, you will likely spin your wheels. Because without direction, a random goal itself doesn't carry a lot of weight (pun intended.)
So really, even though it's so overused I find it annoying - a SMART goal is really the combination of both goal and direction. Because - and I did just have to look this up - the "R" stands for Relevant or Realistic depending on who you ask, which states, "does this seem worthwhile?" "does this match our other efforts?"
Probably why I've been rolling this around so much, is that I have been re-writing my website this week (that I plan to flip over Jan. 1) and putting together a new mini-workshop type of event (scheduled for Jan. 21, 28 & Feb. 4) - that really digs into, not the "why" as much as the "who." Not why do you want it? Because I just don't think "why" is necessarily centered enough. But who is the person you want to become? What life do you want to create? I talk about how weight loss, in any form, misses the mark because it focuses on the size you want to become, rather than the person. Your "why" could be to fit into skinny jeans. Great. Good luck with that. Your goals, needs to be attached to something much deeper, something you deem as a core value in life in order to stick and inspire change.
So, yes, Uncle Pat... hats off to you for the keen observation. Ideally I would say they go hand in hand. Direction first, then goals as a way to move toward that direction rather than just dream about it. But if I had to pick only one, it would be direction. So, as you turn over a new calendar and consider your annual "resolution," I encourage you to think about what direction you want your life to be heading in and whether you are on that path, or need to re-route. Then, if you are going to set goals, I would make them about the habits, rather than the desired result. Then, go be DONE playing small and do the work. Happy New Year! See you on the other side.
© 2021 Optimal Life Coaching, LLC.