Have you set a goal and feel that you have to stick to it because everyone knows about it? Or because you always achieve every goal that you set?
Maybe you are afraid to commit to the goals because you are afraid they are like life sentences, locking you in onto one path for months or years.
It is a misconception that after you figure out what you want that you have to stick to it. Our goals exist only to serve us and to make us happy. So, if a goal is not serving you, you can change it.
But, how do you know when a goal should be changed?
The only way is to first try going after it. There are two benefits for trying out goals.
Gain greater clarity
First, you gain greater clarity on whether the goal is what you really want.
Maybe you thought you wanted to go after a doctorate degree. So you applied, got into the program and started on writing a proposal. During the proposal writing you realized that writing in scientific language was too constraining for you and that you wanted to write creative nonfiction. The doctorate route was not necessarily the route for you. Getting a job at a publisher’s house may have better exposed you to trends in creative nonfiction.
But, you would not have discovered what you really liked if you had not tried the initial goal first. It is rare for most people to know what they really want at the onset of a journey.
The path to where we are meant to be is not straight. It has many twists and turns. And sometimes you need to take the turns to get to where you want.
You gain experience and learn skills
You may not achieve the goal but you will gain experience and some skills in going after that goal.
Experience will tell you what works and what does not work for you. And, when things do work in your favour to achieve a goal, you will have the experience to know what are the best conditions for you to accomplish particular types of goals.
Goals often require us to retool our selves and build new skills.
Sometimes we build partial skills, and other times we build the appropriate skills but don’t follow through on applying the skills to accomplish the goals. Maybe you don’t build any skills but recognize that maybe you should have built the skills.
When you do build skills you will find that most are transferrable skills meaning that those skills may be applied to another goal. For example, learning how to track your progress is a transferrable skill.
So you can change your goals and you will be better for it if you made even one attempt at the goal. Your goals are not set in stone.