Why I never make long term goals...
...and here are mine for 2023 😂
A couple of years ago, I was being interviewed for a freelance job by some big investor guy, and he asked me where I see myself in five years.
I told him that I don’t make plans looking into the future. I’ve learned the hard way that, for me, that only leads to disappointment.
Having specific long-term goals, dreams, aspirations often led to huge feelings of sadness and loss when I was inevitably too unwell to turn them into reality. Grand plans just never really fit with the fluctuating nature of my health - or my own nature of “push through to make things happen” that accompanied these goals (inevitably ending in a worsening of my symptoms).
What I did say, however, is that instead of having set goals or longer-term visions for my life, I like to focus on the present. What are the things I want to do right now (or in the very short-term) and what do I have to do to make them happen?
What is realistic and feasible with my health (even if that changes), and how can I find ways to take up any opportunities that come my way?
Even if they’re not part of a longer-term life plan, you never know what new thing will come into your life that you want to explore, or what thing you might have worked towards for years that ended up not being right for you. We’re all constantly changing and developing.
This, obviously, also happens to healthy people. Sebastian spent his entire adult life in academia, preparing for the life of a physics professor. Only to realise, as he was finishing his PhD, that this wasn’t a life he wanted. After seeing the reality, he had an existential crisis, found another path, and we’re both convinced that he’s significantly happier and healthier for it.
With all of that being said, I do find having goals in general helpful. I just don’t have grand long-term ones. Or if they are bigger ones, I like to focus on how to break them down. I find that goal setting can be extremely useful in helping me stay motivated, focussed and excited.
Along with that comes the importance of reflection. It doesn’t have to be on any set date, but perspective, I have found, has been an incredibly valuable thing for me in better understanding my health. When you’re in the depths of challenging times, it can be hard to see progress. But learning to see it (often with the help of others) can make a huge difference. This is something I do regularly with my PT and in my language learning.
So, as the year comes to a close, I thought I’d share some of my goals for 2023. I’ve tried to make them realistic and manageable. And I’d love to hear what your resolutions are (or even if you’re doing that - or not - this year and why!) in the comments.