G is for Goals

goal (gōl)
1. The purpose toward which an endeavor is directed; an objective.
2. A noun or noun phrase referring to the place to which something moves.

Looking at your life today, are you where you intended to be, or has your life taken a completely different path? My life is currently on a different path than I had originally planned, but I take change with strides. When my path is redirected I set new goals. I would say the important thing to remember when having goals as a Gen Yer is to look at where you are, where you’ve come from, and then decide what your next big step is.

This guest post was written by Ryan Paugh. Ryan is a co-founder of Brazen Careerist and Young Entrepreneur Council.

Soil #1

For an entrepreneur, learning to meet everyday goals is not just beneficial, it’s crucial. But when I think about goals in the broader sense, those mere milestones have nothing on the bigger picture of achieving my dreams.

We’re all reluctant to answer the question, “Where do you see yourself in 5-10 years?” But we all have a vision of how we’d like our lives to play out. I’m looking forward to a beach house in Cabo, kicking it under a palapa and sipping on mojitos to my heart’s content. But let’s get real–fantasizing about our future success isn’t enough to get us there. As much fun as it is to imagine what our lives could be, it’s much more fun to live in the now, where life is actually happening.

During the past 24 years of my life I’ve had some big dreams for myself. From rocking out on stage as a lead musician to taking a role in my own T.V. show, I thought I could do it all. And maybe I could have. Who knows? But there are times in our life where we don’t even try. We don’t even plant the initial seed to see if we’re good at what we want to do. So our visionary goals are never met. And that sucks.

Fear can be the big inhibitor in these scenarios. The thought of failure can be petrifying and the post-failure perplexity of what to do next is too overwhelming to think about.

In my early college years I failed at being a film major, a field I was so certain would be my lifelong trade. Post-failure, I was so scared to choose something new. I didn’t want to craft a new goal that I was scared I wouldn’t achieve either.

But because life without goals is monotonous and boring, I chose to study journalism. I learned a lot and grew as a person. But it wasn’t going to be my end all be all. And since graduating college, I’ve learned that half the battle is all about planting that seed, looking for places where things will grow. When you do, don’t be afraid–reach in there and get your hands dirty.

Sure, your back might ache the next day and that seed, well, it may not even hatch. But that’s the risk you take when you try to become a harvester.

What we learn from our failed attempts is that maybe we need to approach things from a different angle. Maybe our fertilizer sucks, or maybe we shouldn’t even be farming to begin with. Either way we evolve, and our goals and dreams evolve too. That’s life.

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Dreams and goals change as you do. The important thing to remember when setting your goals is to keep the end result in mind and make your goals measurable.