Thursday, January 26, 2012

Setting Goals

My best friend and I have been talking a lot about goals and goal setting the last couple of weeks. She's been reading a book (I should ask the name) that has goal writing assignments in it. She's called me a couple of times about it saying she's struggling with the goal writing because the examples given seem largely unrealistic and Dawn, my friend, is nothing if not practical. She wanted to write out goals for herself that were definitely attainable so that she would not set herself up for failure.

It makes perfect sense, but what if you can always find the "what if" that could lead you to failure? Dawn felt stymied.

Get Out of the Way of Your Goals
I love goal setting. I have done it so often for myself, with teachers I've worked with and, of course, with my students, I understand how easy it is for us to get in the way of our own goals. In an attempt to seek perfection, we inevitably shut ourselves off from opportunities to grasp that which will truly make us happy. We must reach for the stars when we are setting our goals (particularly when we write them down) because if we don't express exactly what we really want out of life, then no one is going to figure it out for us.

As Dawn and I had a conversation about this particular point, I began to think about my current goals. In horror, it occurred to me that I had none. Not only were none written down, but, after one and a half years out of teaching, knowing I am not returning, I had no idea what I was reaching for next.

So it suddenly clicked. Nicole: it is decision time.

Luck Had NOTHING To Do With It
I often reflect upon my life thinking about how lucky I was to become a teacher right out of college, to teach the kids I wanted to teach, to get the courses I wanted to get, to be invited to the professional development opportunities I always dreamed of being a part of and garnering the respect in my field that a professional would warrant. However, I now realize that luck had little to do with it. These things were my goals. These were the things I wanted more than anything else and because I made that clear to myself first, then I fashioned my life (some case consciously, other cases subconsciously) in a way to make them more feasible.

Back to the Drawing Board
I am now in a place where the world is my oyster once again. Grant it, I have a rare brain disease, a digestive disorder and two broken eyes, but I do not concern myself with the limitations of my reality when creating my dream life. I, instead, like I was trained to do in all of my Mathematics courses, first assume that all variables are in their most stable state before venturing forth to write up the proof of my new life - because, who knows? Maybe those sticky matters won't factor into my dream plan. And I don't think thy will. Coming up on my three year anniversary of my diagnosis with Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension means, for me, that IIH is no longer the ugly pimple everyone is staring at on my chin, it is now just a part of my face.

So I'm ready. And they say everything happens for a reason, right? I'm a strong believer in that one. Well, it was obviously important for Dawn and I to have those conversations about goal setting so I would realize how I had let mine go, but what I had not expected was that there would be a second stage to this path for me. Last night, while feverishly juggling two twitter chats I had been looking forward to all week (#commenthour and #writeonedge) I stumbled upon a group of writers that virtually get together to set goals and be accountable. Kismet? Oh yes, I think so!

And Then I Found ROW80 (click to continue...)

No comments:

Post a Comment