Celebrate Well
Misadventure: Al Jarreau, No Money, Needing a Ride Home

When to Sunset Goals and When to Expand Them

When should you let a goal go_

Last week, I asked my LinkedIn and Facebook connections to answer the following question:

When do you know (what are the signs) that a long-held life or career goal is obsolete (no longer relevant or possible or desired) and may, in-fact be what's holding you back?

Confession: While my intent was to get a variety of perspectives so that I could share them with you, I was also on a mission to understand this for myself because I'm at a crossroad in my career and life.

The responses were thought-provoking! Here are a few key themes:

  • Does the goal/project/desired outcome energize or drain you? If drain and if you find yourself resisting doing the work that supports the goal, it might be time to question its relevance.
  • The energy shifts – what people pull into or push away from changes (think working from home post-covid).
  • When your purpose shifts and a higher calling reveals itself to you.
  • When I get an even bigger idea!
  • Life is trial and error. We try a lot of approaches before we find what works best. When something is working, we might need to let other, less aligned goals go.
  • Sometimes after doing something for a while, you may feel like you’re done and ready to move on.
  • Sometimes stuff happens to force us to move on and create new goals – work changes, health changes, family changes.
  • We realize the reason we set a goal was hollow – based on what we thought we should do versus what we really wanted to do.
  • When we realize that the time or opportunity window has closed, or that we’ve not demonstrated real/true/visible/tangible commitment for completing the goal

That's a meaty list of considerations and I'm thankful for the input I received. Which of these resonate for you?

I’ve decided to put everything I’m currently working toward through the energy question:

Does thinking about it or working on it drain or energize me?

It’s a tough one because, if I’m honest, over half of my current goals will fail this test. I shouldn't say fail, because that's not accurate. Most would end up in the column headed, DRAINS ME.

And then if use some of these other considerations, I should get a pretty good idea of the goals I should sunset and which I should expand.

Such a useful tool!  And important work if we want to live a more misadventurous life, don’t you agree?


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