By Sara Hopson @sahopson
A goal means different things to different people. Sometimes it has an endpoint. Sometimes it’s a lifestyle or way of thinking: “I want to be an active, caring parent every day.” Sometimes it’s about fitting in to a little black dress or an old pair of jeans. Our goals are complex, made up of many different types of actions across a range of time that may shrink or expand due to unavoidable life circumstances. We may often set a goal and work toward it diligently, then realizing it needs to be adjusted in some way, throwing off our course and tinkering with our already-set habits.
The summer before my senior year of college, I set an important goal for myself: by winter, I wanted to apply to a dozen graduate creative writing programs. I set out researching and spent hours in my college library pouring over “Best…” lists and stats about tuition and assistantships and cost of living. I let the search take over my life before I even began putting pen to paper and filling out applications.
As deadlines neared and my list was still at an unwieldy fifty schools, I panicked. I planned two last minute trips to Boston/NYC and San Francisco to see if I would even want to live in these cities, much less (pay to) study in them. As a result, I dropped half of the schools on my list (including renowned programs like Iowa and UNC Wilmington) and added a bunch others because of one huge variable I hadn’t anticipated: I fell head over heels for Boston. I suddenly realized how heavily location weighed on my “must” list.
This is the reality of setting and achieving goals. They’ve got to be elastic enough to flex and let new priorities in, able to expand and contract accordingly. My grad school goal became, ”Get into an MFA program in Boston with a scholarship”. When the stakes were heightened - and I knew beyond the shadow of the doubt that is where I wanted to be - the machinery of my goal went into overdrive and had to be repaired, modified, enhanced. Quality over quantity. Precise execution over efficiency.
If I had decided to try to remain unbiased and stick to my initial goal, I may not have focused with so much conviction on getting into Emerson College - toiling over an engaging, moving personal statement that told my story and illustrated my aspirations in one impossibly short page. But I let the goal live and evolve into something that made sense for my life.
I admittedly struggled to keep the moving parts of that machine working the right way. It’s hard to know what matters in the grand scheme of things, and even harder to track your progress when there’s so much else going on and so many variables.
At DailyFeats, we want to help you change the way you set, track, and achieve goals in your life. Simply put, we’re taking the inefficient system of to-do lists, filing folders, calendar-checking, and plain-old forgetfulness, and building you a machine that works. You’ll make goals, assemble the feats within the goal that are needed to make it happen, and be able to see at a glance how you’re doing. I can’t wait to see how you use these new features and how it will change the way I set and reach goals in my own life.
We’ve made reaching your goals fun. Take small steps, check in, and get inspired.