Over Goaling

Have you ever gotten goaled-out? This seems to happen to me quite often. Well, more often than I would like it to.

I’m the type of person who will see something remotely achievable, set a goal, and RUN AFTER IT WITH ALL THAT I HAVE until I’m completely burnt out with little energy or will to do anything besides watch The Office for a week straight (7 seasons, 7 days, one COMPLETELY useless week).

For example: I’m a homeschooler about to graduate high school early. 1 year early, to be exact. So, I look down at my fancy to-do list (my fourteenth revision) and- “WAIT A MINUTE! I have only 20 lessons to Physics left!? If I did, say, 5 lessons a day for four days, I could be finished in April! OR-or-or! I could do 10 lessons a day and be finished in two days! LET’S DO IT!”

Yeah, that’s me. It doesn’t cross my brain that this plan is utterly unattainable until I’m halfway through. After 10 lessons of Physics I decide that I hate Physics. I hate school. I hate life. And all I do is stay in bed watching episode after episode of whatever TV show I’ve recently stumbled across.

I’ve been goaled-out. I set my sights too high and now I feel like a complete failure for missing the mark. I feel like a lazy blob that isn’t good for anything.

“How will you ever feed yourself,” I will ask, “If you can’t even finish a high school assignment on time?” This can go on for months at a time as I stumble along this weedy cobble-stone path to graduation, stubbing my toe on every obstacle, thinking that everything in my life will be magically wonderful once I reach my goal. “Finally, I’ll be able to close this 11-year chapter of my life and move on to something new!”

But it doesn’t work that way. Life is still life, school is still school, and work is still work. I realize there will still be days in my life-to-come that I will spend hating my job, even if it’s something I normally enjoy. There will be days when I feel like a failure. Those are the days that I will need to avoid being alone. People are pretty good at magnifying my successes and minimizing my faults.

I realize that I’m not Wonder Woman, nor was I ever intended to be Wonder Woman. I can’t achieve every crazy goal that I set, no matter how hard I try. I don’t even need to set the goals in the first place. Of course, I should plan for my future and be generally prepared, that’s just common sense. But if I spend my whole life with my eyes fixed upon the Future, some far-of prize to be won, I’m going to miss out on what’s going on in the Now.

I really don’t want to be one of those people who look back over my life and realizes that I “missed out” during my teen years. I don’t want to drag more responsibilities on my shoulders than I really need to carry. Maybe right now it’s okay not to have goals at all. Maybe, at this moment in time, it’s okay to just live.

I don’t want to be one of those people who look back over my life and realize that I spent my younger days slacking off, either. I can keep working, keep moving forward. But I don’t need to go crazy over it. Just one step at a time. I have my whole life ahead of me. There’s no need to do everything right now. There’s time to live and enjoy life without wasting week after week depressed in bed because I’m too darn goaled-out.

 

Are you a goal-maker? Have you ever been goaled-out? How did you choose to deal with it?

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