Why Goals are Necessary for Achievement – Trust me, I've never set any

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They don't have to be massive. Just some small, fun goals. Plant a garden. Plant a single flower. Learn to bake a really good chocolate chip cookie. Point is – find something you want to do, set up a plan to do it, and execute it. Think you've gotten by without them? Even if you know you've never truly had to work for your achievements, challenge yourself with a few goals. Don't reach a point when you need some kind of a plan and you have no idea what you're doing.

Don't believe me? No one ever does. Truth is, I got through high school only because it was in the bottom 20% of the country's schools and I was a massive teacher's pet, getting benefits I in no way earned. Which isn't to say I'm not smart – I've been on my college's Dean's list for four consecutive semesters. Even then, that success was earned with procrastination and random all-nighters – not necessarily examples of great commitment. I've never had to truly work or plan my success. Now the time has come to truly start making some plans. And I'm terrified.

Oh, poor me, so smart that she doesn't even have to try. Fact is, raw intelligence doesn't measure up to a really great work ethic. Yes, I have the excellent ability of creating fairly good work at the very last minute. Yes, I can meet deadlines; no, I don't feel prepared to face challenges that require a lot of time and resolve. Dedication isn't necessary to meet the bare minimum. Having never used it, I wonder now if I can truly channel it. Acing an essay written several hours before class doesn't compare to meeting all the requirements to get my teacher's license. The daunting pressure of having to craft and stick to a plan terrifies me.

Where the heck do I begin? What do you do when unforeseen circumstances throw you for a loop? Worst of all – what if I don't actually have the power to manage great accomplishments? The anxiety is enough to stall my progress at times, keeping me firmly in my ‘whoops, last minute, no sleep' work timeline.

Even though I accomplish work, I never do my best work. Rushing just competent work isn't a trait I want to carry into the workforce.You know those teachers who always seemed to just skim through the essay you poured your heart into? I don't want to be the equivalent of that in my work. I want to improve my craft and blow the minds of anyone who encounters my work. A laissez faire attitude won't cut it. There's so much I want to do, but I'm a lot less prepared than I'd like to be.

I am starting to plot some goals. God, the agony – how to plan, how to adjust, how to overcome the mental block of ‘can I do it?'. But the rewards – creating my best work, crafting a sound work ethic – are worth it.

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