“We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us.” ~Joseph Campbell
I love a well-defined goal. Whether it’s a new personal habit I’m trying to cultivate or an audacious professional achievement I’m aiming for, it’s rare you won’t find me working towards something. I enjoy committing my important goals to paper with an ink pen, a medium I reserve for significant things. The ritual of forming words in this way somehow gives them substance. I will achieve this!
In January this year, my partner and I packed up our house in Melbourne, Australia and headed for new life and fresh opportunities in Vancouver, Canada. The move in itself was a huge goal to achieve in these strange, post-COVID times and one I was ecstatic to finally mark complete when our shipping container of belongings eventually arrived in April.
But what of the other goals I had set myself when I was still in Australia? As an experienced goal-setter and getter, I revisited them once the dust of our move had settled. The person I was when I wrote them is not who I am now.
As we navigate the experiences and opportunities life lays at our feet — moving to a new country, a new job, a new facet of yourself discovered, a curveball you could never have anticipated — you change and evolve. It makes sense for your goals to change too.
One of the things we as leadership coaches frequently get asked is:, in a world where the only constant is the certainty of change, how can we define and achieve our goals when so many elements that impact them are uncertain? Or, when the goals you’ve mapped out no longer take you on a journey that serves you or your team, what do you do? Stay the course or reset and plot a new direction?
You’ve likely heard of the SMART approach to goal setting, but what if we could make our goals SMARTER? This podcast by Dan Harris, Ph.D., lead researcher at Quantum Workplace, speaks to doing just that by evaluating and revising your goals when your priorities or circumstances change.
In reality, our goals are only as permanent as the paper we’ve written them on, and the beauty of paper is that there is always another blank sheet on which to write. Just as the words on the discarded sheet leave their faint imprint on the pristine page below, our old aspirations can intermingle with what we strive for anew.
- How are you tracking against your goals? What needs to be revised or reset?
What’s on Repeat
Songs we can’t get enough of:
- The Times They Are a-Changin’ – Tracy Chapman
- The Engine Driver – The Decemberists
- Work It Out – Jurassic 5
Today’s edition of the L@S Newsletter was written by our newest team member, Cat Hawkins. Cat is a professional coach, formerly an IT architect and leader of technology teams. She has a passion for words and loves to consider different perspectives in life and leadership. Cat works with people to better understand their core values and beliefs, striving for integration of the personal and professional self. She has lived and worked in the UK, Australia and Canada and has yet to come up with a definitive answer to the question, “So where do you call home?”