I want to talk today about the importance of small and big goals, and our perspective on how we set them.
When we set goals, we can get overwhelmed. Perhaps we think we have to know what our long-term goals should be, and how we are going to achieve them…while wishing we could achieve right away.
The overwhelm can cause us to stop going for our goals, or we can get discouraged as negativity or negative self-talk stops us in our tracks.
It’s OK for us to not have a clear picture of how we are going to reach a long term goal. It’s OK to not know exactly we want.
What is important?
What is important is that we have a clear focus, that we have direction, and that we understand that things might not always go as planned. We need to have positive self-talk, and to remind ourselves that even our failures or mistakes can still help us get to our long term goals.
So how does this all relate to the blog’s title, The Wizard of Oz, you ask? Well, there are several metaphors. Let’s start with small and big goals. When Dorothy landed in Oz she didn’t know where she was; she felt scared and she decided to start asking for help as she was trying to figure out what happened. She soon realized she was “over the rainbow” and her greatest desire was to get home. So her “long term” goal was to get home and she soon realized in order to do that she had to go on a journey to see the great and powerful Oz first. She didn’t know what sort of obstacles would be in her way, or how long it would take…or, who she would meet along the way. She did know that she had the support of Glenda, the munchkins, her dog, and the ruby slippers. She also knew all she needed to do was watch out for the witch and stay on the yellow brick road. For her first few steps, she literally focused on putting one foot in front of the other, until she started moving further down the yellow brick road and her journey began. Along the way she met the scarecrow, the tin man and the lion—all helped her along the way and she helped them as well.
In our journey of life, whatever our goals are going to be we meet people along the way who help us. We just have to be open to accepting help—or a lesson—from people we meet along the way. Some people we meet by accident—like when Dorothy met the tin man while searching for apples. A person we might fear actually could end up being an ally, like the lion. When we are on our journey to the bigger goal, we have to face our fears as we run into obstacles like turning the wrong direction or making a mistake when trying to take a short cut.
We don’t always get it right and that’s OK. Sometimes a goal that we thought we really wanted turns out not being for us anyways. For example, Dorothy and her crew really thought the field of poppies was a more beautiful and faster way to get to Oz—as we know, it was a trick by the Wicked Witch to get the ruby slippers. The scene was also another example of how things don’t always go as planned and that we do have people in our corner looking out for us even when we aren’t looking out for ourselves, just as Glenda the Good Witch looked out for Dorothy. There were many obstacles Dorothy had to go through on the Yellow Brick Road: facing her fears and going through the forest, finding a way to meet the great and powerful Oz, and even getting into the city and facing the Wicked Witch. All of these obstacles Dorothy met with courage, determination and her drive to get home.
She allowed herself to cry when she needed to, to ask for help or receive it when it was given to her and to stand up for herself and her friends. In the end she realized that she had the power within herself to reach her goal and she also needed to go through the journey to realize it. How true is this for most of us. When we set our goals or even just our journey of life, we go through it, we experience different twists and turns that we anticipated and some that we didn’t…and we grow.
We appreciate the journey, we learn from our experiences, and we realize the most important lesson: we hold the power within ourselves to accomplish our goals, and to pursue our passions and dreams.
Our power is within and not external. Sure we need help, support, encouragement and drive to help us reach our goals and we also realize that our greatest power—our greatest gift—is what is inside ourselves. Honoring our strengths, our weaknesses and everything about who we are is also how we get through our journey of life. Remembering, as I have said before, that loving ourselves—the good, bad and ugly parts of who we are—helps us live and accomplish our big and small goals.
If Dorothy ignored any part of her journey she would have never made it home. If she didn’t allow herself to feel the range of emotions she felt, let people help her along the way, and face her fears, she would have not accomplished her goals.
So as you are setting big or small goals, remember you can start with small steps, and know that some of your goals might change along the way. Have an idea in mind of a big goal and then think of your starting point. What is one small step forward? Who is in your support system? Making sure you are open to meeting other people along the way or learning valuable lessons too. Remember that things will not always go as planned, that obstacles actually help us reevaluate our goals and teach us really important lessons. Ultimately, when things don’t go as planned, we get stronger.
And the most important lesson: believe in yourself. You have the power within to accomplish whatever you most desire.