When dreams and goals collide


I have been thinking a lot lately about goals. In graduate school, we are constantly talking about SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely), and I must admit that this practice has seeped into my everyday life. But I wonder–do goals have to be smart? Sure, you want to succeed, but if I limited my goals to things that I knew I could achieve, I think I would be missing out.

I am a self-described dreamer with a splash of realism. My current (corporate) job is to evaluate–to follow specific procedures and protocols, and ensure that others are doing the same. Yet, my other job (freelance writing), requires that I put myself out there–free from the insecurity and self-doubt that are inherent in SMART goals.

As I grow older, I am recognizing this dichotomy in myself even more. As I evolve as a writer, I also become more organized, more focused on completing tasks with certainty. I am fascinated at how I fluctuate on this spectrum.

My dreamy goals give me life. They keep me afloat in the tough times, when job, or relationship, or routine-ness dissatisfaction threatens to extinguish my spirit candle. Now I just have to work on quieting the realistic voices that are ever-ready to throw up mental blocks.

I have been lucky to accomplish a lot that I have set out to do (and some things I never dreamed possible). As the pendulum of life swings, I never quite know where I am going to end up, and this terrifies me. I guess, the best I can do, I s’pose, is to just take a deep breath, grab on, and never let go.

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