If you go to Pinterest and search for “Goal Achieving Quotes,” everything that pops up tells us women to “Go for it.” But what does “going for it” actually mean? Does it mean to stand on your kitchen table, juggling all your goals in life?
I can tell you right now; that if that was me, I would be left with a broken kitchen table and busted goals all over the floor. Since graduating with my master’s degree, my goals for my professional life have changed. I started out with a very narrow track in the social work field. I knew exactly what I wanted to do, where I wanted to do it, and how I wanted to do it. I was a college advisor’s dream student.
But, I was struggling to find other like-minded individuals who could relate to my interests and goals. I quickly realized that the problem was that I didn’t have a clear view of where I wanted to go and what I wanted to do professionally. I had to be open to the idea of letting goals evolve over time and be open to new possibilities.
A few years ago, my mom and I got matching tattoos on our left wrists. The symbol that we tattooed for all eternity was the open heart. The open heart is a symbol of two hearts, open and connected facing opposite directions. The open-heart stands for allowing your heart to be open, and love will always find its way in. Thank you, Jane Seymour. This symbolized many things for me. One, let love in. I’ve been with my sweet husband for 10 years and married for 2 years. Two, let possibilities and opportunities in, you don’t know everything Megan.
Yes, I still remind myself daily that I do not know everything and to listen and learn openly. It is a self care practice. I know so much more than I did 5 years ago when I graduated with my master’s degree. I know so much more than I did 2 weeks ago. And I know more than I did 5 minutes ago.
So the big questions: What do you do when you have multiple professional goals? Where should you start? How does career success and goal achievement compliment your personal life goals? Where do you start? Have you made a list?
I may not know all the answers, but I know how to find contentment in my list of goals…..
There is a time and a place for everything
A list of goals is crucial. Write them in the back of your Erin Condren planner, on a white board or in the notes section of your smartphone. Just because you are working a 9-5 desk job does not mean that is your prophecy. Do what you have to do in order to survive, provide for your family, and live life. But realize that your list of goals are ever evolving and they can be something that you work towards on the side.
A big part of goal achievement is manifestation. Our brain is trained over the years to categorize our thoughts into good or bad, positive or negative, achievable or no way that can ever happen. As my friend (only by the way of reading his book and listening to his podcast), Bob Goff would say, “Love Does.” Try not to listen to those nagging little voices in your head telling you that you cannot achieve something. We all have them and trust me, they have a power point presentation filled with examples of why and how that goal is unachievable for you. DON’T LISTEN TO THEM!
If you are a Bachelor Nation fan like I am, you know that this past season of Bachelor in Paradise should have been themed as the “Exploring Opportunities” season. What does that mean you ask? If a recruiter reaches out to you on LinkedIn, talk to them. It may not be the right time or place but start the conversation. Take every chance you have to share your goals with colleagues, mentors, family and friends. Someone might know someone who can help make that happen. Afterall, we want our friends and loved ones to succeed as much as we want ourselves to succeed.
We all get caught up in the rat race of life. There are days when hiding in your bed sounds like the best possible option. The practice of expressing gratitude is grounding. It keeps us present, aware, appreciative and reflective. You guessed correctly, there is an app for that! I personally use “Gratitude.”
Don’t roll your eyes at me, Networking is KEY in meeting like-minded people who share similar interests and goals. Join a Young Professionals group, volunteer, get involved in a cause that is important to you or someone close to you! You’d be surprised at the opportunities that await! Don’t know how to find one? The almighty internet can help. Most Young Professional groups are on Facebook. A lot of cities have multiple monthly events to check out. Lucky for me, they even have most of them surrounding happy hour! Enjoy, cheers!
I could go on and on about the endless ways to achieve your goals. From my “Social Work” perspective, goal achievement can only happen when it has micro, mezzo and macro components. What that means is: the goal needs to provide impact to an individual, a group and a community.
With love, gratitude and a great cup of coffee,
Megan Casabe, LCSW