Why you shouldn’t plan on achieving your goals

by | Oct 14, 2021

Our life isn’t quite how we pictured it. 

When myself and Marci got married I was developing websites and Marci was working as a chef. 

But we had a goal of working together on cool projects, and splitting our time between Ireland and Kentucky. 

I think in our heads we imagined coming up with frequent side projects that we would work on outside our main jobs, and we had this idealised version of international life where it happened with the greatest of ease, and whenever you liked you could flit from country to country – almost like teleporting.

Well, our life doesn’t quite look how we imagined it would. 

We’re OK with that though. 

It reminds me of something I read in a book once. I can’t remember the title or the author unfortunately, but she said it’s really useful to visualise exactly what you want for your future, and then take action to get there – but don’t count on the outcome.

You might not end up precisely where you envisaged.

You might end up somewhere better. Or somewhere slightly adjacent to where you had planned. Or you might not quite make it to the heights you intended. 

And that’s OK. 

Because making plans about the future and taking action to make them happen means that you’re ensuring forward motion – that’s the value of those plans. Forward motion. The precise destination you reach is less important.

I think about it sometimes when myself and Marci are taking stock of where we are. 

Just recently we were talking about those goals we had when we got married. 

And here we are, working together. Not on the side projects we imagined, but full time. 

And we do split our time between Ireland and Kentucky. Not in the way we imagined. It’s more difficult than we thought, and sometimes I can’t spend as long there as Marci does, but we do spend time in both places.

We often find that when we take the time to reflect on where we are, we realise we’ve actually achieved a lot of our goals. But because it looks different to how we imagined it, we haven’t taken a moment to appreciate the accomplishment.

It’s only when we slow down, and take the time to reflect on the plans we had that we realise: oh yeah, this is it, it just looks a little different. 

Do you find this? That you’re blind to some of your achievements because they don’t look exactly how you imagined them?