What To Do When Your Goals Need To Change

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When I first started losing weight, I set two goals. One was a short-term goal of losing 20 pounds. The other was loftier. I wanted to get down to 185. Based on what I suspected my lean body mass was, this would have put me at a pretty healthy weight, but I had 185 fixated in my head.

But as I started losing weight, I realized that 185 was still fine as a goal, but it wasn’t the endpoint I really needed.

Talking with a friend yesterday, I brought this up and he suggested I write about what to do when goals need to change. After all, it applies to not just weight loss.

You see, sometimes, we get fixated on a goal. That goal is the only thing that matters.

That’s not necessarily a problem. It’s what drives us. Successful people tend to set goals and drive toward them, sometimes with reckless abandon. At least, that’s what people see and think.

However, sometimes, goals need to change.

For me, I realized that 185 was still a much better and healthier place for me to be…but at 190 at the moment, I recognize that it’s not where I thought it would be. If I stopped here, I’d not be where I want to be at the end of this journey.

So, I adjusted.

But it’s not just with weight loss where you sometimes need to adjust.

Take my son. He’s a high school senior.

All his life, he’s wanted to be an engineer. However, as he got older, what he wanted to do with engineering narrowed a great deal. He decided what he wanted to do was develop better prosthetic devices for amputees, people like veterans wounded in action.

His dream was to make them far more functional and, if possible, better than the limbs they lost. He even wanted them to have sensors that could send signals to trigger feelings.

A lofty goal, to be sure.

The problem is, what he wants to do was such a niche that it would limit his options of where he could work. For him, it became time to reevaluate his goals.

He’s now planning on majoring in accounting.

To be clear, he still wants to work on stuff like this, but he’s viewing it as more of a hobby–and a potential business opportunity should he be successful–and not a way of life.

In short, his goals changed because his priorities changed. He valued flexibility more.

Honestly, goals can change for any number of reasons. The problem is, some people don’t understand when goals need to change. They lock on to that goal and ride it straight on through, only to lose out when they get there.

Look, goals are great. More than that, they’re mandatory. But like I told my buddy who is also a small business consultant, goals are goals, they’re not a suicide pact.

What I mean by that is goals are great. They’re essential to get where you want to be. But on the same token, you have to recognize where that endpoint isn’t the same as it was.

At this point, I’m starting to ramble a bit.

Regardless, don’t get so fixated on a goal that you don’t recognize that it’s time to shift that goal. That way lies disaster.

Author: Tom

Tom is a husband, father, novelist, opinion writer, and former Navy Corpsman currently living in Georgia. He's also someone who has lost almost 60 pounds in a safe, sustainable way, so he knows what he's talking about.

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