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How to Not Let Goal Crushing Become Soul-Crushing

In the age of social media, all you ever see is people posting their ups. It feels like as you scroll everyone is crushing their goals, living at the top of the mountain. It is easy to feel lonely when you aren’t reaching the goals on your list. When you are working hard, doing everything you can, and still feel like you are falling short.

But the truth is you are not alone. People just tend to not shout it from the rooftops when they come up short. 

We all have goals, some new and some really old, that just never seem to get checked off. It doesn’t mean you are failing, it just means you are still working on it.

I have had goals on my list for years. We all do, you know that one that you put on your list years ago and you are starting to wonder, why bother. Will it ever get checked off or will it continue to haunt me? There are also new goals that I haven’t made much progress on and I start to worry it will become like old faithful on my list. And my mind fills with negative talk and worry.

So how to do you go forward? 

Here are three things that have helped me keep running the race.

Stop and Evaluate my why. 

Is it something I really want or something I think I should achieve. Sometimes, I get swept up in things and start working towards something because I think I want it or because everyone else is doing it, so I must want it too. So now I take the time to stop and ask, why. 

Why did this become a goal? Why do I want this so much?

Reflection of your goals can help to know whether it is something you want to continue to work towards. If you do a little soul searching, is it something you really want, or it is time to scratch it off your list.

Knowing when to let go is so important in life. That way you can put more effort and attention on the things that are a priority.

Last year I really wanted to qualify for an artisan trip and didn’t make it. I was sad because I did everything I could and still fell short. I wanted to do what I always do, quit. Because that is easy. But what I did was I started to reflect on why this had become so important to me and went back to my why.  

Why I became a Noonday Ambassador in the first place.

I wanted to impact women. But somewhere along the way I lost sight of my why. When I sat down and looked at my year, I had accomplished what I started out to do. 

I helped support Artisans across the globe and gave them access to dignified jobs.

I also was able to impact women in my local community. 

Friendship were formed because ladies gathered at my Trunk Shows.

Adopting families were impacted. 

And I met so many amazing women along the way. 

I also did things that scared me and never in my wildest dreams did I fathom doing. Last month, I got up and talked to 150 women about Noonday and the impact we are having in the world. Old Sara would never have had the courage even think of attempting such a thing. 

My goal wasn’t to qualify for a trip. It was to impact women and I was accomplishing this in so many ways. Including impacting myself. 

So really, I didn’t fall short. However, I could has missed this if I had not sat down and really evaluated things.

 I evaluate the journey as a whole. 

I am working on constantly taking account of the small victories and progress in my journey. When I fall short and miss the finish line I tend to feel like a failure. I sit in that feeling and let it hang over me like a dark cloud of distain for myself. 

But, what if I went back and looked at my journey and evaluated the whole process. What I usually realize is that while I might not be where I want to be, I am also not where I was a year, month or even a week ago.

One thing I have come to realize about myself is how I talk to myself when I fail will dictate my path for future progress and victories. 

This is so hard because it almost feels good to be mean yourself but nothing good will come from shame. You will only bring yourself so down that you might not want to get up and try again.  

Instead I celebrate the victories along the way.

I worked for a goal but fell short. However, I made strides. Looking back and seeing where I improved and what I still need to work on helps me to stay on course. 

At the end of the day, the important thing is to keep moving. Even if we never make it to the finish line. 

Small victories. Small movements in the right direction mean I am not standing still. I am moving forward, even if it is not visible to the outside world. 

I also try not to compare my journey to the person next to me.

I have three boys. Fifteen, eleven and five. My youngest looks up to his brothers and emulates their every move. The other day he was so upset because his brother was better than him at a game. I explained his brother was older and had been working on that skill since before he was born. So naturally his brother was going to be better at it that him. This didn’t matter to my youngest, he was still so upset at himself and the situation. I shook my head and thought how silly. But then I realized, I do the same thing. 

I look at someone who has been working towards something longer than me and I get upset at myself for not being 5 steps ahead. I have to remind myself their journey didn’t start at the same time as mine. How silly of me to compare my journey to someone else’s that started at a different time and place.

So, dream Big and just keep on moving. Keep on working towards those goals both old and new. Even when we fail we succeed because we tried. When we stop trying all together is when we really fail.

Meet Sara Lopez

Sara lives in the suburbs of Austin with her high school sweetheart husband, three active boys, and her Goldendoodle, Penny Princessa. On a normal day, you will find Sara driving all around town chauffeuring her homeschooled boys from one activity to another. As a professional photographer, Sara loves to get to know people and capture them loving life.