An Ode to Goals

When I was told that I was part of the 2012 35 under 35 Women’s Leadership group, I made a promise to myself that I would blog about every session. What I did not realize was how inspiring and eye opening each 35 under 35 session would be and how much time I would need to decompress and evaluate everything I had learned. So here I am, almost one week after my second 35 under 35 session, finally decompressed enough to write this blog (believe me, I had lots of lessons to learn).

As part of our 35 under 35 session last Thursday, we heard from Pam McGee about “The Path to Doing Great Things.” Most of her talk centered on goals and how we set goals in our lives. My favorite part was her list of things she thinks she knows for sure …

  • Some goals never come true because they were never meant to be. This one’s tough, as anyone can tell you who has been in this situation. One of my goals that isn’t coming true (at least right now) is getting a house. Adam and I looked and looked and didn’t find the right one. We finally had a heart breaking conversation about the fact that maybe, at least for right now, the house just isn’t meant to be. While I’m still not sure why that goal didn’t come true, I have become okay with it especially after hearing T say: “Katie we don’t need a house. This [apartment] is our home.”
  • I have set some goals and achieved them and I have set some goals and not achieved them. I can tell you the last time I was truly proud of myself. It was a beautiful spring day in 2010 and my advisor had just said, “Congratulations, you passed your thesis defense. You just earned your master’s degree.” I get misty eyed (crazy right?) just thinking about it. After all, that was a goal that I had set for myself long ago. A goal I haven’t achieved? Well I just got back from a run, the first time I worked out all week … chalk that one up to a failed attempt at working out at least 2 to 3 times per week.
  • There’s power in letting people know what your goals are. It seems so simple: How are you supposed to reach your goals if no one knows what they are? What would happen if I vocalized my goals to people who could actually help make them happen? Believe me (and I’m not just saying this because I work for The Chamber), there’s power in networking. So this week, I vocalized my goals to some key people. It was terrifying and wonderful all at the same time. Now we’ll have to see what happens …
  • Helping others often leads to accomplishing your goals. The best part about this 35 under 35 group? The amazing women who I’m connecting with. I can’t wait to help some of them (and for them to help me) accomplish our goals.
  • Goals are steeped in beliefs. This one was the one that socked me right in the gut. Pam looked around the room and said, “What do you believe that is holding you back from accomplishing your goals?” … I’ll be completely honest, I’m still working on this one.
  • Someone else’s path is not neccessarily mine. My  mother is one of the most amazing people I know. When she and my dad moved to Pine River, she chose to stop working and to stay home with us. Believe me, that is something I will be forever thankful for and I can guarantee you, she doesn’t regret it. That being said, I have always thrived in the workplace. I have goals for myself both professionally and personally. I want desparately to be a mother but I also want to work. I know this may change once I actually have children, but it begs a larger question: Is someone else’s path the right way? I think as women we need to stand together and accept our differences as part of what makes us unique and beautiful, not tell one another that there is one right way to raise a family, to handle a job, etc. You’re on your own unique path in life … embrace your individuality!

Now that I have gone on for 800 plus words, I will say one last thing which stuck with me from Pam’s presentation: BE DRIVEN and BE OPEN. I was driven to get my master’s degree. That was a goal I had for myself. But sometimes, when you’re open to it, wonderful things can happen when you don’t have goals. Here’s my best example:

Baking cookies with T!

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