Goal setting is a big deal; at least, it always has been in my life. Setting goals has given my life direction, boosted my motivation and achieving those goals has had a meaningful impact on my self-confidence. But somehow, working in the field of aging, I have noticed that I am spending significantly less time talking about goals than I did when I was working with a younger population.
As we get older, it seems that many of us derive pleasure mainly by reminiscing or from sharing the accomplishments of our children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. I think that can easily become a formula for unhappiness and can contribute to a feeling that one’s life is essentially over. Even if our drive isn’t what it once was, I still believe that it is critical to create goals for ourselves — and not just any goals, but exciting goals. Even if we don’t achieve them all, we will probably accomplish quite a bit in the attempt. As the saying goes, “shoot for the moon; even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.”
I recently came across a helpful webpage with a useful tool for setting goals through all stages of life aptly named stagesoflife.com. It can be used to set goals in a variety of life areas — some of which we are all pretty used to thinking about, such as health and wellness goals; and some that we are not, such as new frontier goals. Included in this goal-setting tool are:
• Personal growth goals: which are things that will add to, improve or expand upon the quality of our lives. Upon reading this, I committed to going to see a play or watching a live comedy show at least three times in 2016. It’s something my husband does not enjoy, so I have not been doing it; but in 2016, I will go anyway.
• Family and friends goals: where we proactively engage loved ones around us.
• Education goals: like reading a book once a month or taking a class at the local community center. I have always wanted to paint, but I have no talent and can’t even draw a straight line. I have been intrigued by the ads for the new sip and paint events that have been occurring locally. I think maybe if I drink a bit of wine, I can overcome my inhibitions and give it a try. At least, I won’t notice if my lines are not all that straight.
• New frontier goals: these were my favorite goals to think about — what have I always wanted to do and maybe still could, even if I have to modify things a bit for my new physical realities. I have always wanted to learn how to scuba dive, and in 2016, I am going to figure out how to go about doing that.
My words of wisdom for this month’s article are set some goals. I recently saw a post on Facebook which said, “It’s never too late to do what you want to do; unless what you want to do is be younger, then you are out of luck.”
Let me know what your goals are for 2016. If you have any questions, or if there is a topic you want to read about in the Ask Your Daughter column, please send me an email at [email protected] or write to me at Senior Services of Albany, 32 Essex St., Albany 12206.
Be well and happy.