Are Your Goals Really Yours?

Don't push yourself to do something just because you're good at it if you don't truly enjoy it.

Do you have a goal that’s been on your list for a few years now that has just sat there, untouched? You like that goal, it’s a worthwhile goal, you keep meaning to get to that goal, and yet … it remains.

For me, that goal was playing piano.

I played piano from when I was 5 years old to 15. I was in a minimum of three recitals/performances/competitions every year. I earned many certificates, ribbons and awards over the years.

Conventional wisdom says that the more you do something, the easier or more natural it becomes.

When it came to performing, I found that to be a bunch of crap.

It never got easier. Before every solo performance, my heart would race, my stomach would turn and my palms would sweat. I’d be so nervous, my hands would literally shake. I loathed piano recitals, and yet somehow I managed to do dozens and dozens of them for years.

When Mr. Man moved in, he brought his keyboard piano and would play (and still does) often. I’d get a little misty and wistful and talk about starting up piano again. He made it look so fun.

I told friends and family that one of my goals was to start playing piano again.

But I never did. I still haven’t touched the piano once.

And for a while, I felt very guilty about it.

I felt ashamed for putting off this goal until I realized it wasn’t really mine.

For Mr. Man and many others, practicing and playing the piano brings them stress relief and relaxation. For me, practicing the piano makes me extremely frustrated, stressed and depressed. Yes, it was nice to be able to impress people with my repertoire of memorized songs, but I derived little pleasure from it.

But talented people aren’t supposed to let those talents go to waste, right?

There was the real reason behind my goal.

Whether I internalized that impression from society, my parents or whomever, it doesn’t matter. The point is that I finally realized outside influences were the motivating factors behind my goal of wanting to restart a hobby that made me want to jam a metronome in my eye.

That realization was like a breath of fresh air. I promptly removed that goal from my master list several years ago, and it’s been absent ever since. (It also provided me with a huge happiness boost.)

So for each of your goals for this year, ask yourself the essential question of, “Why do I want to achieve this goal?”

Is your goal to lose weight truly yours or are you doing it to fight the “chubby kid” stereotype bestowed upon you growing up?

Is your goal to learn a new language because you want to learn the language of someone you love or is it just because “that’s something smart people do?”

Is your goal to start a business because you genuinely believe you’re meeting a need in the marketplace or is it just because that’s what “successful” people do?

If you can clearly and specifically answer why a goal is solely yours and your motivation is genuine, you will find a way to make it happen.

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This entry was posted in Goals, Happiness Goals, Life Lessons, Stress Management Goals and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Are Your Goals Really Yours?

  1. I totally agree with you 100 percent on this one, LLB! I’ve actually written about this before, too! Many, many writers have a dream of “writing a novel.” But then many, many writers sit around doing everything except writing that novel. What writers need to realize is that in order to write a novel you must first have a DESIRE to write a novel. Most writers dream of writing a novel, not because they truly want to, but because “that’s what writers do.” I’m a huge fan of going against societal “norms” and doing what works for you. So whatever makes you happy, that’s what you should focus on–NOT on what you THINK you should be doing.

    My new favorite mantra: “Decide that what you know is more important than what you’ve been taught to believe.”

    Thanks for making me think this morning (and for inspiring yet another post for my blog!).

  2. Laura Lee Bloor says:

    Thanks, Jennifer! I love that mantra — “Decide that what you know is more important than what you’ve been taught to believe.” Powerful stuff — also a little easier said than done, I think.

  3. Timory Wilson says:

    Love it! BTW: You inspired my boyfriend and I to set a few “couple” goals. He is also going to set goals for himself. Look at all the people you are inspiring. Nice work! :)

  4. Laura Lee Bloor says:

    Thanks, Timory! Oooh, what couples goals did you set? What goals has he set? What about you? I know you have some! I hope you will be each other’s accountability buddy. Good luck with everything!

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