Competing Goals

It’s the beginning of the year, and many people use this time to reflect and evaluate on the prior year, and then establish goals for the new year. Unfortunately not all goals are compatible. Want to run a four hour marathon and pass the bar in the same year? You’re going to have a lot less time for other things in your life, like hobbies, personal relationships, and laundry.

Some of the more audacious goals take A LOT of time. Some other goals may only take 30 minutes a week to succeed at, like calling your mom once a week.

Networking more in your town or industry might require you to drink during the week, eat out more, and spend more money. If you’re trying to lose weight at the same time, these two goals might not be easy to reach together. I’m not saying it would be impossible, but it would take a lot of self control.

I tend to have a lot of different goals going at once. Some take more time and effort than others. But one of my current goals takes up a lot of my time – anywhere from 10 to 20 hours a week on top of working a career, this blog, my podcast, and normal life. That means other things have to fall by the wayside during this time.

This isn’t a bad thing. Sometimes sacrificing other goals or interests for a discrete time period to accomplish a big goal is a good idea, and even necessary to succeed. Those three to six months may suck while you’re seeing friends and family less, hitting the gym less, watching Netflix less, and falling behind on your reading. But if reaching that big goal is important, the sacrifices made will be well worth it.

Just remember, many goals have a discrete timeline to completion. There will be light at the end of the tunnel. Just keep trucking along, and when you reach your goal, you’ll be excited, proud, and have time to binge your favorite Netflix show.

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