Setting Goals + Staying on Track
Setting goals is an important part of my life. Goals are an intangible, non-intrusive way to structure your life and implement meaning into your existence. I like to set goals instead of lofty year long “resolutions” because I believe that growth and change is achieved through baby steps. And I believe it’s important to set attainable goals, in order to see yourself succeed. I like to have big and small goals so that way I don’t get too discouraged by massive tasks. Sometimes goals take a few weeks and sometimes they take a few years. They allow you to push yourself further + forward.
One goal I have set every single year for the past four years is traveling to a new country! This year, I am excited to be visiting Ireland! For this particular goal, I started saving up last June 2018. I set aside around $200/month since then and it makes me excited and motivated to work…because I know I have another big trip to look forward to. This goal did require some modifying, as I realized I couldn’t afford my original trip: Peru. However, I was honest with myself and did the responsible thing by switching to a cheaper trip. It’s completely fine to adjust your goal a few months down the line. It’s a sign of growth, because setting + achieving goals is a completely organic process which will have changes along the way.
I also had a goal of getting a part time job….and this goal was harder to achieve. I couldn’t find work all of fall 2018 and it was absolutely crushing. I couldn’t get design work or even a restaurant job. I struggle with intertwining my productivity and my self worth and I felt like a failure for not having a part time job. I can’t cope with too much free time; my wandering mind is paralyzed by boredom. However, I persisted…continuing on interviews and taking a break when I was too beat down by all the rejections. I got interviews with big companies like St. John, Volcom and Stance, but nothing seemed to stick. Therefore, I adjusted my expectations. I decided to stop being so hard on myself. I found a restaurant job Jan 2019 and I really enjoy feeling productive and getting paid…and the people are very nice.
With my bigger goals, like graduating college I can often feel overwhelmed. I’ve been struggling with this goal for years. This one has been a struggle because of things like, but not limited to: awful bullying, a massive DVT blood clot, moving halfway across the country, changing my major, anxiety and depression, etc. However, I have persisted mainly because of this one thing: I have learned to ask for help when I need it. I was suffering really, really badly from my depression all of 2018, coping with constant sadness, loneliness, isolation, exhaustion and anxiety, so I started going to therapy more, forcing myself to open up to people more, and I keep increasing my antidepressants as I need to. I once would have seen this as a sign of weakness but I know I absolutely have to (and want to) graduate this spring, so I continue to increase my meds as I need to and I feel no shame in doing so. I take walks when I want to scream and/or throw my laptop out the window…. I have been learning more about meditation and it feels so good to empty my racing thoughts. I make lists of my ever growing homework load and I try to tell at least one friend if I am struggling. I treat myself to a coffee or a movie at the end of the day if I do my homework for a certain amount of time. I chunk my work into manageable segments and try to focus as much as possible when I am working. Sometimes I do work with a friend so that I don’t feel like I’m just working alone. This goal of graduating has probably been the hardest one of my life, with the most severe ups and downs, but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. It’s bright and it’s beckoning to me.
After I graduate I will set new goals and I am excited to see where they take me and what I can accomplish.