December 2, 2010

Goals--and this time I don't mean Soccer

People must like goals. Everyone talks about goals--for some it's weight loss; for others it's about money. We have short- and long-term goals, we have attainable goals and pipe dreams, we have public and private goals. It's goal-mania out there. What goals do you have? Do you know your friends' goals?

I've heard that goal-setting is one of the keys to happiness because goals show optimism. At Lincoln Literacy Council training, we talked about setting attainable and specific goals--we need the who, what, when and why so we know when the goal has been met.

It's easy to make a goal statement if you know what you want. By February 1, I want to have lost 15 pounds so I can look great for my vacation in Cabo. Straightforward goal and vacay in Cabo--it's all good.

But what if your goal is a little less straightforward?

Since I was little, I have been fascinated by the pioneers of the Great Plains. People who set off into the unknown with the hope that they would find something great. Blind faith, bravery and good genetics I suppose. I have always wanted to be the best at whatever I'm doing, and if I can be first, I will. I like setting a precedent--leading the way. Unless the way is into a dark basement, then I'm quick to delegate.

I love the idea of pioneering something, being the first. But what is my frontier? What great unknown can I tame with my proverbial covered wagon? Too bad I missed out on the Gold Rush. Or the Space Race. Or Disco.

What will be the next Final Frontier? How do you set a goal about something unknown?

I have the feeling that the answer is not as complicated as I want it to be. For now, I've got two mini-goals.

1. Learn another language to fluency--wait, not specific enough. Live in a foreign country for two years, thereby learning the local language to fluency. Anyone else smell adventure?

2. Grow a real ponytail braid: twelve inches of braided hair whipping dangerously around my head. I'll need a ruler!

Happy goal setting and achieving!