Setting Life Goals: Throwing Timelines Out The Window

Do you ever feel as though you are running out of time? Without even realising it, you’re setting life goals to fit with the “norm”. By what age you should have reached a certain level in your career. When you should have found someone to settle down with. Bought a house. Traveled the world. Maybe you’re really aware of the fact that you have these goals or maybe, like me, you didn’t even know they were there, until life took a different path.

setting life goals

the perfect life

I guess that the white picket fence life goes a little something like:

  1. Get an education
  2. Start a career
  3. Find a partner
  4. Buy a house
  5. Get married
  6. Start a family

It’s by no means for everyone, but many of us have the above in our heads when it comes to setting life goals and creating the “perfect” life. It may be there subliminally, you’re not even aware of it. But even so, when you miss one of these goals by the timeline you think you belong to, you feel like you are failing at life, and start complaining that you don’t have your shit together.

life finds its own path

Oh hi, hello, have we met, I live for planning. I plan every inch of my life. It keeps me sane, centred and calm. That said, I actually didn’t have a conscious plan of when I wanted to accomplish big life moments. I wasn’t into setting life goals. Well, I didn’t think that I was.

Maybe that’s because I was living a very charmed, lucky life. With the exception of nailing my career, I ticked off 1-5 of the above in “perfect” timing, all before 27. But, I did the majority of it without even realising. Without really putting the effort in or chasing these things as goals. I was just very fortunate that it all came my way.

Life doesn’t always happen that way though. I found out the difficult way that life can change in the space of 48 hours. All of a sudden your timelines are exposed and you realise that you’re not in charge. There are things that you can’t control. Or things that just aren’t supposed to happen when you thought they should happen.

comparison is a bitch

Ah, comparison. Life’s biggest fun sponge. Ultimately, that’s where this whole “failing at life” panic arises from. You see how someone else is living their life (or maybe you even see it through Instagram rose tinted glasses), and you question why your life hasn’t panned out that way. Why you haven’t achieved the same things.

Realising the damage of comparison can be a real life changer. You compare yourself to one person and think that your own world is going in the completely the wrong direction. You’re working in a low paid role whilst the girl you went to Uni with is flying around the world on double your wage packet. You’re furiously swiping Tinder whilst your mate gets engaged. Or, you’re counting down the cancer free scans whilst half of Instagram gives birth to a new baby. Oh woops, that last one’s just me, lol.

setting life goals

you do you

I honestly believe that working hard, whether that’s on your own personal development, self care, or career, is the way to feel accomplished, and there is huge merit in setting life goals. But, we can’t hold ourselves accountable to these stereotypical timelines. It’s damaging. It can throw you into a downward spiral of “nothing ever goes right”.

Instead, trust that whatever your goal might be, it will happen. Maybe you won’t get there before that golden 3-0. Maybe it won’t be as easy as you thought. I’m not saying that all it takes is for you to believe in goals for them to happen, they take time and effort, but by believing in them your mindset will be a whole lot healthier.

throwing timelines out the window

We give ourselves these brackets of what we’re supposed to be like in different stages of life, or what we should have accomplished. Early twenties, the years of getting drunk too often, going to uni, falling in love. Late twenties, marriage, mortgages, babies. Thirties, the time to build a family, or become the ultimate girl boss. Forties and beyond…when you really have shit sorted and I dunno, become the sort of sassy woman who gets her nails done every week and has given up washing her own hair in favour of professional blow dries.

It’s time to realise that none of that matters. Make things happen when you want them to happen, or be happy with your lot in life, work towards your dreams and trust that it will happen.

Do any of you guys relate to feeling like this?

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setting life goals

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