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Game Changers

When I plan and set goals for the beginning of a new year, I like to identify a single “game-changer”—a milestone or event that would have the most positive impact on my life relative to my bigger goals.

When I started this in 2017, I didn’t really fully consider the full impact of changing the game. The thing is, when I hit my game changer, the positive impact isn’t always as clear as I had likely imagined.

When the game changes, so do the struggles. It turns out I was never very good at visualizing the new challenges I’d face after reaching a big goal.

You don’t just check a box and move on to the next goal. You have to reassess the new circumstances and reconsider your moves along the way. For the first few years in this practice I didn’t really do that. As a result, I’d hit goals earlier than expected and move on, but then I’d feel sad or disappointed because I didn’t really plan to deal with my new reality.

Looking back on my last few years, I accomplished quite a lot I set out for. I’m proud of those accomplishments, but I can’t say I’m as happy as I expected I’d be in doing so.

As I map out the year ahead, I’m taking a more critical look at my existing long-term goals to make sure they still make sense for me with where I am today. And I’m trying to do that without viewing any adjustments as a failure. I can’t expect to know exactly who I’ll be in another year, much less three or five. We’ll have to see where the game takes me when I get there and pivot accordingly.