So many books tell us we must set clear goals to be successful. “Set those goals, make check-lists, don’t stop until you achieve the goal.” Has this worked for you? For me, not so much.
Oh I have tried the goal thing, tried it a lot, but for me, life seems to get in the way. I was never all that comfortable saying things like “when I get to be 29 I will be married with three kids and all the comfort I can handle.” Or, “by the time I reach 55 I will have put away enough money to retire to Maui and live a life of leisure.” Along the way to age 29 I found my plans kept getting delayed, changing because this happened or that did not happen. Retire by age 55 with a life of leisure on Maui? Sorry, that ship has sailed while I did other things!
I have begun looking at things in a different context, one I find much more life affirming: I now embrace intentions.
For me, the word intention encourages me to complete certain tasks, achieve whatever goal I can achieve, but leaves open exactly how something is to take place, and if that achievement takes a different path than my goal might have taken, I am in a more flexible place to move forward without thinking I have failed somehow. My intention has allowed me to work toward something with an open mind, open to possibility rather than locking the how down and saying I have to do this now, this then, and that at this place or time. For me I find being aware that there is a whole universe of possibility out there is more supportive than a goal.
There is no one way to live this life. For some people having that timeline keeps them sane and happy, for people like me, a timeline is just an invitation to feel I have failed somewhere along the line. Embrace your most effective strategy.