Create goals, not timeline.

Life blogger in the Philippines

“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” –Antoine Sains-Exupery

When I was a junior in college I remember that I made this mental breakdown about where I’ll be years from that time. I decided that after I graduate college, I’ll find a job and save 2 years and enroll myself for my second degree, I still haven’t figured out what to take but I know specifically a field that I want to be in.

Fast forward to the present, can you believe that it’s almost 2 years since I graduated from college, that means based on my mental plans I only have months to go before I enroll myself in another program. 

But look where I am now.

Of course, my plan hasn’t changed at all it’s just that for the past months I’ve been beating myself too much. I was this optimistic human being who is excited about her life’s next chapter but I was slacking off. I was flowing through life and now I realized that I haven’t planned anything at all.

As Antoine Sains-Exupery would say, it’s just a wish until I create a plan. It’s not enough to have a goal and a timeline, what matters most is your plan. You need to have your plan laid out and have backup plans when things didn’t work out the way you want them to be.

I think the fault was on me. I was so eager to be a certain person that I forgot to be in the present and plan my future. I did plan my future but the structural plan on how to achieve the future that I wanted to have wasn’t done, it wasn’t even half done.

I guess I was accustomed to the fact that throughout my growing years I am a follower of curriculums.

When you are studying you have a goal, whether it’s to be a Latin awardee or to graduate on time, and it is by default instilled in us that to get those goals you have to do good and passed the needed requirements.

But everything is different after you’re done with college.

I had a conversation with a friend about this and I am not sure if I will be happy or feel sad that she feel the same way as I did. I realized that I was slacking off mainly because I feel like I have all the time in the world. There are no more deadlines (in terms of personal growth, this doesn’t apply to work tho) and no more push to make you do things urgently. No more midterms or finals that will require you to learn the ins and outs of a certain program, no more output that will require you to carry a camera and use the technical knowledge you were taught by your profs, and yes no more critique that will correct your essays.

There are no more training wheels, we are on our own now. And I think the past months were the hardest part because we’re unsure about everything around us.

I somehow stop paddling and I eventually stop, and after some time waiting for that push I realized that I only have myself now. It was hard and if I’m being honest I think I haven’t moved forward that much for I’m still struggling to feel my feet and steady myself.

I may not be a good rider and I may not have improved that much but one thing I’m sure, or at least I want to believe, is that I’m stronger and I know better now. Of course, I’m still picking up the mess, or rather I’m still struggling to get past my mess and my clouded decisions from the past but I now know that creating a timeline does not equate to success.

Just because you created a fool-proof timeline does not guarantee that you’ll achieve your goal. What matters most is that despite all the setbacks you are still there wanting and fighting no matter how small the voice inside you, no matter how small your hope is.

It’s not bad to have a timeline, just remember that it’s not enough and that no matter how high or low your goal is the thing that you need is a plan.

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