As an extremely goal-oriented person, I am always working towards a personal or professional goal that I set for myself. This character trait of mine is both a gift and a flaw. A gift because I am always learning and growing. A flaw because I rarely let my brain relax. This is something I’ve become more aware of this year and with that, I’ve been forcing myself to schedule “chill time” in my calendar. If you are a goal-oriented person like me, you probably struggle with this too, but being able to chill and enjoy the present is just as important as the goal you want to achieve.
Think about it - you set a goal, work towards it, achieve it (yay) or maybe realize it does not align with your life anymore (that’s cool too), and then you set another goal or reassess the original one. This is a continuous cycle that us achievers get stuck in. If you are anything like me, you don’t feel truly happy or accomplished until the goal has been reached. This can be any goal - big or small, a weekly goal, monthly goal, yearly goal, etc. - but until it is achieved, you do not feel like you have it together or that you are working hard enough.
UGH. I’ve been in this mindset way too many times. I set a goal, work towards it, and when it does not come to fruition in the timeline I had in mind, I get upset. I feel like a failure and feel like quitting. Another thing that tends to happen to me is BURN OUT. I have experienced burn out way too often than I’d like to admit, and when that happens, I am FORCED to chill. I burn out physically and mentally and therefore, everything is at a standstill until I can get back to feeling like myself again.
I recently listened to a podcast on enjoying the journey, and I finally realized that I truly need to slow the eff down. I’m sure I’ve heard this advice over and over again but for some reason, that particular podcast on that particular day woke me up.
I love that I am a goal-oriented person who loves to learn, grow, and progress, but if my only focus is goal after goal, I am not enjoying life. I am not enjoying where I am at and what I have in the present. I might even be missing an opportunity that is right in front of me because I am so laser-focused on getting to the goal.
If you’ve experienced multiple burn outs, find yourself lacking motivation or wishing that you could just be still for a moment, it is probably time to schedule some “chill time”. This does not mean that you have to stop working towards your goals, but in order to avoid that UGH feeling, you need to make time for yourself. You need to make time for friends, a good book (that doesn’t make you think about all the personal things you need to work on), Netflix, getting outside in nature, laying by the pool, going to happy hour. You need time to just BE and enjoy life.
You will always have a goal and I hope that you work towards that a little bit every day, but don’t forget to stop and enjoy each moment of your life. Being happy in the present is the ultimate achievement.