A dry gulch, leading to creepy woods. Total metaphor for my life right now.
I've been doing some work on long range goal setting. Kinda sucks because, you see, I hate the idea of long range goals. The word "goal" -- it's almost the archaic spelling for "jail", you know. Flip the vowels around to "gaol" and Bob's your uncle. I can't seem to separate the two in my mind, probably because of the mental gymnastics that allow you to read those stupid emails where they mix up the letters in a word to prove you aren't really reading words using letters, but more the shape of the thing.
Anyway, I dislike setting goals. There's a part of me thinks I'm just a terrible, terrible slacker, but then there's another part of me that knows I can be a very focused person. If I set a long range goal that I'm determined to meet -- for good or ill -- I get like a horse in blinders. If you don't look up while you're traveling, you miss some interesting possibilities.
If you really want to be honest, I think the major problem I have with long range goal planning is that, prior to the past three or four years, all the goals I've ever set were other people's goals for me. I never chose them. They were homework being set for me by someone else who thought I should or needed to want those things. Because I'm a pretty laid back person and didn't want to upset the people who chose them for me, I'd agree to them, set those goals and then never work toward them because I didn't really want to accomplish them in the first place. Then I'd feel worse about myself for lack of focus, not to mention the whacking great lies I was telling in the first place.... Lots of negative juju around goals for me.
I've found through experimentation that I don't mind short range goal setting, though. For instance, I don't mind planning one year out. That's fine, because those goals are less time consuming and I don't have to be so intensely focused. And even if they go badly, hell, it's only a single year. Not five. Or (Lord love a platypus) ten. And it gives me the chance to re-review my choices annually to be sure they're actually things I want to accomplish and not just static I'm getting from outside sources before I spend that decade on them.
So now I have a set of things I want to accomplish in the next year or so and am not calling them goals. They're just 'things I want to do'. Which, yes, are goals, but let me get all semantic up in here, ok? I just have to set a priority list (because some of them are easier and can be accomplished in the shorter term, while some of them are more in the style of ongoing actions I have to work to make habits, like flossing) so that I know when to start working on them. I figure when I've got my priority list sorted out, I'll be done with my useless introspection -- at least about goals -- for the year. I'll have to make another list next summer, but that's something that can be put off for 365, which is the best kind of slacking off there is.
So's you know, I didn't put knitting on my list of stuff I want to accomplish in the next year. I figure I'll do most of that (since it's fun) without the reminder on my weekly to do list. It's the scary stuff that really juices my oranges I'll have to nag myself about.
Courage; it's on the list of traits to develop. Wish me luck!