You set so many goals but you never reach them all. Those undone items on your to do list make you feel bad. Surely they’re a sign of failure?
But what if I was to tell you that having uncompleted goals is actually a good thing? That it’s a sure sign that you’re setting your expectations at the right level and recognizing what really needs to be done?
Aim High, But Not Too High
When we set goals, it’s important to set them at a level that is just tips us out of our comfort zone. If we’re completing everything on our to do list then chances are we’re setting our sights too low and only completing mundane and unimportant tasks.
Worthwhile projects often turn out to be more complex and multi-faceted - and therefore require more work than we originally anticipated. So it’s not surprising that they often run over schedule.
Rather than tear our hair out, it’s important to recognise this as part of the process and readjust our expectations when necessary.
Normally over time, we get better at assessing how long a certain kind of work will take but, as healthy creatives, we’ll constantly be setting ourselves new challenges. We need to anticipate that these learning curves will sometimes cause us to fall behind.
The reverse is also true. If we set our sights too high and don’t achieve more than a tiny fraction of our goals, then we’ll end up demoralised and feeling like a failure.