A few weeks ago I finished Rachel Hollis’ second book “Girl, Stop Apologizing.” I read her first non-fiction book earlier this year and found myself really surprised how much I enjoyed it (I may not agree with her on everything, but her overall message is one I can definitely get behind). Before I read “Girl, Stop Apologizing” I had a friend tell me “oh, that one’s okay, but it’s more of a business book, so it didn’t really apply to me.” I was really disappointed when I heard that so I had actually put off reading it, thinking it wasn’t going to apply much to me either.
I am so glad I decided to just dig in.
I’m not here to sell you on the book, although I did love it and would actually recommend it more than her first one. I honestly don’t care if you read it, but after reading it myself I was so disappointed in my friend’s viewpoint on it. I’m definitely not disappointed in my friend, it just breaks my heart to realize that so many people, especially women, are so quick to view goal-chasing as something for “business people” that doesn’t apply to them. Maybe it’s not even that - Maybe, like me, they’ve been scared to death of it. Scared of falling short if you set goals and don’t reach them, so it’s easier to write off goal-chasers as being a different type of person altogether.
But everyone should have goals.
Seriously, I believe that with my whole heart. I think we’re creatures created for goals. Unlike animals who live for the moment (God bless ‘em, I often wish I could live that way) we actually have the mental complicity to envision and plan for the future, and we were made to use it. Goals utilize those abilities.
No one said your goals need to be huge. They don’t have to be monumental. You can (and probably should) start small, but make sure they challenge you in some way. You don’t need to want to start a business, you don’t have to want to climb Mount Everest, but I firmly believe we should all be reaching for more. Pushing ourselves on a regular basis, so we can surprise ourselves with what we can do.
I’ve talked about it before, but I was terrified of exercise. It was actually physically painful, so being afraid was completely understandable, and was even a form of self-preservation. When I started running I set small goals and worked my way up. Run to the end of the block, run a half mile, run a mile. I didn’t start with the goal of running a marathon. Some people do, and that’s awesome if that can work for you, but for me, small is what finally worked, and continues to work best for me when it comes to my fitness goals.
Other areas of my life I reach bigger. I have some big freaking long term goals. It took me a long time to really figure those out. I had to push myself to find those goals and also make them specific things I can break down to make them achievable. Some are so big, they still scare me. They very well may be failures, but I definitely won’t know unless I try.
Maybe your goal will be to save and go on a cool vacation, maybe it’s to write a book, maybe it is to climb Mount Everest. There is no “right answer” and the most important part is that you have them and that you are actually trying. So ditch the idea that goals are only for high achievers or fancy pants business people that carry around briefcases and use terms like “corporate synergy” and get yourself a damn goal.