A few months ago, I posted a photo of a list I had written in 2004 about the things I wanted to achieve in life. I’m currently obsessed with these Daiso grid index cards, and have been taking around a small stack with me for random thoughts and notes that don’t seem to fit anywhere in my current planning system. (Incidentally, it’s been a really efficient way of filing my ideas at the end of the month and revisiting random thoughts, but I digress…). Anyway, I’ve been trying to update my list since that post, and today, I’m finally happy with my life goals for the next ten years.
There’s not much more that I want to achieve, and I’m sure that as my life changes in the next year, I’ll be adding and taking away a few of these. I didn’t really have any sort of process in coming up with the items on this list. I tended to think about different aspects in my life – family, personal relationships, career, creative pursuits, etc. – and considered what I could possibly achieve given a decade to complete it. What resources do I have? Do I need to consider any life changes (e.g. house, finances, baby, etc.) in order to achieve these goals? What can I do each year in order to achieve these goals? Do they seem realistic given that circumstances can change in a decade?
I’m not a goal-setter by nature, and have lived most of my life just playing it by ear and living spontaneously. I’m a paradox considering that I plan meticulously at times… but I only plan for that day or the immediate future. I’ve always had an ‘idea’ of where I want to be, so I plod away bit by bit without ever actually really putting that much thought into it. I don’t like pressure because I get anxious and stressed, and it takes a lot out of me to deal with the fallout or the success of something… but I’m working on it – the anxiety and stress, not the pressure! There are times when I will sit down and brainstorm a multitude of ideas and map out these elaborate plans, but then I put it aside and revisit it when I feel that I’m ready again. I like pacing myself, and that might be what’s lead me to achieving ‘adulthood milestones’ in my 30s instead of my 20s like the majority of my same-aged peers, but I feel fulfilled. I don’t have regrets (maybe except for the one time I drank too much tequila and concussed myself on a toilet bowl, but…) and I feel like my life experiences have certainly held me to good stead going into my 30s. I’m still naïve in some ways (like all the jargon that gets thrown around when buying a house), but I’m allowed to make mistakes, and a certain sense of naivety helps me see the silver lining when there’s a lot of dark matter around.
Are you a goal setter? What’s your goal achievement time frame? How do you go about achieving your goals? Are you planned and meticulous, or fly the seat of your pants?