Here’s something interesting came to mind recently that might prove useful to create a clearing and a more productive relationship with our “goals” in life: making a distinction between “tactical goals” (smaller scale, direct, and in pursuit of something concrete) and “life goals” (large scale, longer term, and encompassing many aspects of life).
When we lump them together, think of them both as just “goals,” and then relate to them in the same way, they tend to mush together in a way that can lead us toward a couple of big pitfalls. The first is that we can get caught up with equal fervor or grit while pursuing the both of them, to a degree where it often becomes unproductive. But while with a tactical goal the short duration and the specific expected outcome limits the reach of it, while also providing end points where we can reflect and choose to let go of the goal, with life goals they can become so all-encompassing that it not only can more easily veer into unproductive and deleterious territory but when they do we often don’t abandon it and, instead, get stubborn and double down. (With double the unfortunate results.)
The second is that we can get single-minded, or more accurately, single-pathed about it, and not realize that when it comes to life goals there may be many paths towards fulfilling our vision. Or, even more so, we may get so locked in on that goal that we might miss that our vision and desires can be filled in many ways and that the goal we set, and the path we locked ourselves into, isn’t what we actually or authentically want. Which can then feed back into the first pitfall and we get stubborn and…
By keeping them distinct it allows us to keep our perspective and to keep how we relate to each of them proper for their respective scales. And as such interact with them in their proper and fruitful ways. To to facilitate that, maybe it’s best to rename “life goals” to something else… authentic inspirations? Eh, that doesn’t really roll off the tongue, but whatever we choose can help to keep the two apart and to facilitate making the proper tactical goals along the way towards fulfilling our authentic inspirations.
Making a distinction between Tactical and Life Goals is important. It can help us stay focused on the task at hand and not get lost in the vision or aspirational language of life goals.