Skip to main content

The Planning, The Process, and The Prize

Photo Credit: Sura Nualpradid
I seem to quite good at setting goals, but not so good at seeing them through. In the rare instance that I have seen a goal through to the end (either because of the genuine desire or genuine necessity), I've often reflected in how I felt after I've achieved a goal. I am beginning to see a pattern.

First, I am excited to be starting a new project. It is usually all I can think about or talk about (to anyone who will listen). I know I'm deep in a project when I begin dreaming about it. This happens with any goal I've set. When I started researching the low carb way of eating a couple of years ago, I submersed myself in information that would allow me to learn all I could about it. When I completed a NaNoWriMo challenge back in 2008, I lived, breathed, and slept my novel(ette).

Later, I become overwhelmed at the sheer size of the task in front of me. This is when that ugly self-talk comes creeping into my brain. ("You'll never finish this." "What made you think you could do this?" "You're going to disappoint everyone?" "They're all going to laugh at you...") This is usually the stage where goals are not realized. I never move pass the anxiety to work through it. For the goals that are reached, I usually have some form of accountability that sees me through to the end. (For my degree, I knew my family depended on me. That and the fact that I had taken out all of this money in student loans and knew that quitting was not an option.)

A little while later, the euphoria comes back. "Yes, I can do this!" "Yes, I can finish." This stage usually occurs when I'm deep in a project and things are going well. I have a momentum that keeps me going. (With my low carb eating, I was losing inches and weight and it felt good! People were beginning to take notice, providing me with that external motivation.)  

Enter another bout of anxiety This stage actually repeats itself quite frequently through the process, depending on how long the project lasts or how big it is,

Finally, I see the light at the end of the tunnel. I am almost there. It is going to feel so great to finally reach my goal!

Until I do.

After reaching a goal, I feel a moment of euphoria and then an unbelievable feeling of let down. Suddenly, reaching a goal has become terribly anticlimactic. I forget about every struggle I went through to get to where I am currently standing and instead have inner dialogue with myself:

"That wasn't so bad." (When it really least at the time.)
"I could have/should have done it better/differently." (Maybe or maybe not. But the truth is, I did the best I could at the time. And why don't I just bask in the glory of my accomplishment?)

The doozy - "What now?"

"I've lost 25 lbs. What now?" (Do I lose more? Do I start an exercise regime?)
"I've graduated college. What now?" (Do I go back to earn a more advanced degree? What area?)
"I've written a 50,000 word novelette. What now?" (Do I write more? Do I edit it? Do I start another one?)

I was so concerned with this facet of my psyche that I asked the Man Beast his process in accomplishing goals. He agrees that for him, goals are anticlimactic and he finds himself searching for more. So, either we're both very broken or both very human.

What about you? Do you enjoy the planning, the process, or the prize?

Until next time...

This post may contain affiliate links.


Popular posts from this blog

Life as a Paraprofessional vs Life as a Teacher: Part 1

hyena reality Eventually, I will write a lovely end-of-the-year post (probably entitled something original like: "What I Learned as a First-Year Teacher"), but this morning, I want to write about something a little bit different. The differences between  my life as a paraprofessional (teacher assistant)  and my life as a teacher . I'm sure many of you are aware that I began my life as an educator, not in the classroom, but in a lunchroom. After I had home schooled The Boy and Baby Girl for a couple of years, it became apparent that it wasn't working out any more and some changes needed to be made in our family. So, on that fateful day in November, I dropped both of the kiddos off at the Little Elementary School Around the Corner, The Boy, a 4th grader and Baby Girl, a 1st grader, while I headed off to work in the school cafeteria.  As a substitute cafeteria worker, filling in for the ladies who had to be out for whatever reason at various schools around

One of a Million New Year's post

Look around and you'll see that most everyone is posting some type of New Year's blog post this week. Check your blog rolls (or mine) for proof. I've looked at A Year in Review blogs, the best of the best blogs, most read posts blogs and my favorite: the new year resolutions (solutions, challenges, etc). Call me crazy, but I love these type of blog posts the best. Why? Because while most of us never keep our resolutions longer than a few hours days weeks months, there is something magical about the New Year. It is a chance to change whatever it is that was messed up for you during the previous year. Common resolutions include: 1. Stop smoking 2. Lose weight 3. Get organized 4. Save more 5. Spend less 6. Get to the project that is sitting in the basket, closet, or garage 7. Spend more time with family Did I hit them all? These are on most people's lists. (By the way, stay tuned for the end of this post for links to sites that can actually attempt to acc

Life as a Paraprofessional vs. Life as a Teacher: Part 3

This is the third part to a 3-part series chronicling my take on the differences between a job as a paraprofessional and a job as a teacher. (View Part 1 here and Part 2 here .) Let me preface this list by saying that I believe that paras and teachers have the potential to equally rock the education world. They can love and nurture students in a way that only an educator can. They can help students become great. That said - there are some definite differences between paraprofessionals and teachers. This list is not to say one is better than the other. Rather this is meant as a tongue-in-cheek comparison of how I perceive the differences of a paraprofessional's job and a teacher's job. (And any teacher who has worked as a para or vice versa should be able to relate to my list.) Paraprofessionals Vs Teachers Calendar Reduction Days – “Yay! I get another day off. Yeah, it kind of stinks that it’s a Calendar Reduction Day, but hey – a day of