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When You Aren’t Reaching Your Goals

Everywhere you turn on social media — especially during graduation season — there’s someone “excited to announce something.” And there’s nothing wrong with that. Sure, some people are fucking annoying, but if you worked for something there’s nothing wrong with being proud of it. You see people’s before and after gym selfies. You see their baby bump progress. You see their engagements. You see their promotions, and their bougie new apartments.

But what you see a lot less of is their disappointments. People don’t like to broadcast their missteps and failures — and rightfully so. No one’s “excited to announce” that they got dumped, fired, demoted, gained 20 lbs or have to move back home because they’re broke.

But that’s happening to everyone all the time. That doesn’t mean you should feel better about it happening to you, and it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take a step back to reevaluate, but it should help you keep your shortcomings in perspective.

So you aren’t married with kids by the time you thought you’d be. It’s taking you longer than you thought it would to get out of your parents’ house. You’re still waiting tables when you thought you’d be on to your dream job by now. You haven’t started the business or the blog or the YouTube channel you’ve been thinking about for years.

In my own case, I’m extremely disappointed with my blog. If you’ve followed me for over a year, you’ve probably seen me resolve to step it up and be consistent with content on multiple occasions, and I’m still nowhere near where I want to be. I actually started this blog post two weeks before I got to posting it because that’s how all over the place my writing is.

So when you’ve disappointed yourself in one way or another, what are you supposed to do?

There’s no point in beating yourself up. It’s a waste of time, and you’ve wasted enough of it. The good news is that life goes on. The tough news is how fast it goes on.

Time isn’t on anyone’s side. The younger you are, the more time you have to learn from your mistakes, but it really does fly. At the end of every year people make the same comments about how fast the year went. And that means that taking the time to reflect and get yourself together right now wherever you are in life could mean a world of difference in five years, and probably less.

So no matter what your goal was or why you missed it, it’s imperative that you take the time now to figure out how you can move forward and what you need to do that.

I want to publish at least 3 blog posts a week. I haven’t been successful doing that because between my job and my social life, I’m exhausted. It’s mostly a good kind of tired, but it’s tired nonetheless. If I’m not working from my laptop at home, prepping meals for the rest of the week or at some networking event, I’m probably in my bed by 7. So I’ve had very little time or energy to write, and the less I write, the less inspired I feel, and the less inspired I feel, the less I write. And I’ve realized that what I need to do if I want to get back on track is buckle down as soon as I get home and use my post-work burst of energy to write. Throughout the day I’m going to keep note of blog post ideas, and I’m going to set daily alarms for 6:15PM to start writing.

My goal isn’t particularly rocket science, and people with more substantial problems may be reading this and rolling their eyes, wondering how on earth this is supposed to help them. But I promise that there’s almost nothing outside of sudden freak accidents and random fatal illnesses that can’t be solved by reflecting and regrouping. And the fast you do it — and take it seriously — the better off you’ll be.

Don’t waste time kicking yourself in the foot because your goals weren’t accomplished in the timeline you thought they’d be. Learn. Because there’s literally always a lesson in your disappointments. They’re more often than not your fault, and the sooner you accept that the more efficiently and effectively you can move forward and get whatever it was you were after.

CEOs are fascinating people, and mine especially so. In a review with my department he said, “if you’re meeting all of your goals, you probably aren’t aiming high enough,” and it’s something that’s stuck with me ever since. Missing your goals means you had them in the first place, and that’s more important than it sounds. The fact that you aren’t content with where you are is the first step to getting where you need to be.

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1 COMMENT
  • It’s so true! I don’t think I’ve ever met all my goals and I like having something to strive for – but I don’t beat myself up, either, as long as I try hard!

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