Goals are great in theory, but the truth is life happens. When illness, family problems, natural disasters, and other uncontrollable events occur, we sometimes can't achieve the goals we had set. If such things keep us from attaining goals, we shouldn't beat ourselves up over it.
I've stopped setting goals for my life and career because I have an unpredictable illness. Sure, I have dreams (go to Germany and Italy and either write or edit a best seller). Sure, I have a broad plan for what I want to do with my life (live frugally and work hard as a tutor and editor so that I can have a winter retirement home somewhere warm). Dreams and a rough plan are all I need. If problems come up, I'll deal with them then. If they don't, I'll try to achieve more.
Ditch the SMART acronym. Ditch the deadlines. Do what works for you and your family. Let some other overachiever fret about weekly goals.
Photo: Luke Hayter, Flickr Creative Commons
Darla Nagel is an editor and writing tutor who has an invisible chronic illness. She wants to help other patients and enlighten health care professionals about our experiences. If you’d like to be alerted whenever she writes a new post, sign up by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Darla copyedits biomedical research while living with an invisible chronic illness.