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Mike recently installed a pull-up bar in our house, and I’m happy to report that, 13 years after high school phys ed, I am exactly as proficient as dangling and grunting and collapsing into a ball on the floor as I was then. Still got it!

Being amazing at pull-ups has fortunately never been a goal of mine, but that’s not to say I haven’t had goals I’ve failed miserably at attaining for years and years and years. My deal is that I’m super goal-oriented, so once I set a goal, I have a really hard time focusing on anything else until I reach it. For example, there is a part of my brain that still thinks I can hit a goal weight I never even reached in college, back when I worked about nine days a week. I truly let go of that goal consciously years ago because a) I’d rather have balance in my life than obsess about exercise, and b) it’s craziness. The fact that it was a goal and I never reached it though, still sticks with me. BECAUSE I LIKE SUCCEEDING AT MY GOALS.

If a musician kept narrowly focused on a goal of landing a big record deal instead of launching an indie career these days, he'd totally miss the chance to play at a festival with Barenaked Ladies and be interviewed on TV. Like this handsome fellow did.

If a musician was only focused on the goal of landing a big record deal instead of launching an indie career these days, he’d totally miss reaching his goal of playing a festival with Barenaked Ladies and be interviewed on TV. Like this handsome fellow did.

What is important to us changes. And no matter how important setting and achieving goals may be, it’s important to occasionally reevaluate to make sure we’re not mindlessly pursuing something we don’t even want or need. I mindlessly pursued getting an agent for my book for months, because that was always the next goal on my ist after “finish book,”  before my husband helped me realize that not only would I be happier with self-publishing, but wasting my time hung up on the agent goal was preventing me from reaching the more important one: publishing the stinking book.

The industry changed. We change. Our lives change. Sometimes we have goals like “get promoted to the big boss job” even after getting close enough to the top to realize we don’t really want it. Other times we stay in relationships because we think we should be married and/or having kids by a certain age. Some people keep pushing agendas and initiatives intended to benefit others long after a community made it clear it’s unnecessary.

So here’s to shedding old goals, reclaiming the future hours we might have dedicated to them, and focusing new goals that fit our present selves, and will help shape our best futures.

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