Goal Achievement – The Wedding Anniversary Lesson!

"Goal achievement lesson"It’s my wedding anniversary today – I only noticed because I had finished writing another article and was entering it onto my spreadsheet with the date, when I realised. I gave it some thought, and a goal achievement lesson came to mind, so I thought I’d pass it on…

October 14th 1989. A bright sunny crisp day, much like today as it happens. I went out for a lovely run earlier, which always gives me a feel good factor, and boy did I feel good all those 23 years ago.

We weren’t getting married because she was pregnant. We weren’t getting married because of any financial benefit. We were getting married because we loved each other, and wanted to.

If I look back all those years, it feels like I am looking back at another person. A hell of a lot has happened since then, which you would expect in 23 years, but since we aren’t married any more, I don’t often use Oct 14th as a mental ‘staging post’.

She went out for a pint of milk one day and never came back. I was devastated – that powdered stuff just isn’t the same…

In fact many years the date just doesn’t occur to me, but this year I seem to be struck by what I might have been thinking back then.

Did I know what I would be doing in 2012?

Did I have a set goal in mind for today?

I was working in the music industry at the time, and was settling myself in and learning as I went along.

My mind was not thinking 23 years ahead. In all honesty I did think I would still be married, but apart from that, nothing fixed.

If I think forward another 23 years, blimey I’ll be old by then, but who knows where I’ll be, what I’ll be doing, or who I’ll be doing it with!

Think about your own journey. Go back to Oct 14th 1989, and think whether you had set goals, whether you had any idea about what you’d be doing in 2012. Then maybe think forward 23 years, to 2035 (gulp). Where will you be?

Now, let’s be honest, 23 years is a huge amount of time. Probably too long to make goals that are *too* rigid, life just doesn’t work that way. Here’s something you can do though…

Make that same journey forward in your mind, and imagine yourself looking back to now, to 2012. Will you look back with satisfaction that you went for your goals, whether you achieved them or not?

Or, will you look back with regret that you didn’t even try. Lots of people are able to look back with that satisfaction I mentioned, which is great, but equally lots of people look back with the regret.

It doesn’t have to be that way. As I said, setting a goal for 23 years in the future is a tricky one, but you can set the goal of being able to look back and tell yourself that you went for it.

That’s the goal achievement lesson I got from today’s 23rd wedding anniversary – well, that and ‘run like hell!’

Ok, that’s it for today – do let me have your feedback, and share, like tweet etc iof you enjoyed it!

‘Til Next Time,
Health & happiness,
P.S. You can grab my motivational book still at the cheap kindle price!
‘Transform Your Life in 21 Days!’

Do leave a comment!

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  • October 1989 I was also married, living in Norway in the middle of nowhere and at home with my then 16 month old son. Wow, seems like a long time ago! Since then I have lived in 5 other countries, divorced while living in one of those, had a breakdown in another and lifted myself up again. Gained an education, became a counsellor, wrote a couple of books and started my own business. Where did time go?

    I must say I had to giggle to myself when I read your post. After my divorce I became a counsellor. I had to choose certain fields within counselling. I decided not to go near relationship counselling because I was sure I would say to my clients “run like hell” lol.

    Now here I am a few years later coaching on the subject of confidence with a particular interest in working with clients going through separation or divorce. We just never know what life has in store for us do we?

    The next 23 years. What I hope to do is write more books, really get my business off the ground and enjoy this precious life. As for what life has in store for me, well only time will tell. Whatever it is I intend to stay in the moment and learn from it.

    Have a great day!

    • Great comment Kama!
      You’ve had some adventures too then! It does seem odd to me, but some people *don’t* have adventures to look back on. Nothing wrong with that per say, but as you point out there is so much out there! Your plan looks a good one to me!
      Thanks as ever for stopping by,

      • My life has been so full of adventure that I can’t imagine it any other way. Sometimes I have a moment of thinking, wouldn’t it have been nice to have lived in one place all my life, happily married and familiar with everything around me. These moments only usually last 10 minutes max!

        • Blimey I get those thoughts too! Human nature to think the grass is greener on the other side! Must admit mine can last a good deal longer than 10 minutes though!

  • Great food for thought Gordon. I never spent a lot of time looking forward. My life has been filled with adventure of one kind or another and I have fantastic memories. I have tried to be in the flow and be open to what the universe brought me.

    Right now I’m focused on my goal and mission and for the first time in my life, I’m motivated to look forward, at least to a five year goal. I hope to be mostly retired within the next 7-8 years.

    • Thanks Julia,
      It’s interesting to hear the differences between some people who are open to possibilities and some who are totally goal orientated. I think I’m like you, seeing the positive aspects of both!

  • 1989 seems to be a bad year for marriages. I too was married in 1989, November 11 (Remembrance Day in Canada). It was my second marriage and I married the most wonderful man. Unfortunately, it was not to be. He passed away less than four years later.

    Although I had many “adventures” and “misadventures” since, I think that my husband’s death affected me profoundly. I sort of became lost. I gave up my career for which I studied and I tried to get lost in the countryside as if I was running away from civilization and my family.

    It has taken me a long time to get back on track. I have recovered… I have become more appreciative of what I have… And, I take nothing for granted…

    I am not sure that I want to make goals for the next 23 years. I prefer shorter term goals. I prefer them to be one week, one month, one year. That way, I can reassess them frequently and correct my ways, if I err.

    Thanks for writing your post, Gordon. For me, it actually brought out some fond memories.


    • Hi Dita,
      I also brought some fond memories for me! Have I had misadventures? Oh yes, I think most people will do in that length of time. Here’s hoping both of us will be looking back in 23 years knowing we went for it!
      Thanks for stopping by!
      Cheers, Gordon

  • Make a goal for 23 years from now? I’m doing good to make a goal for 23 hours from now! Still, it’s a good point you make, and I definitely hope that I’ll live my life in such a way that I’m one of the lucky ones looking back in satisfaction.

    • Thanks Cheri,
      You’re right, looking back in satisfaction is indeed a good goal to set, which comes from knowing we went for smaller goals.

  • Hi Gordon,

    Great food for thought! I think you can be open to possibilities while being goal-oriented as well. I try to remind myself that I can change or modify my goals if better options present themselves. Of course, I’ve found I have to be careful with that and be sure I’m changing or adjusting goals for the right reasons. But I have to say that there’s no better feeling than looking back and seeing what you’ve accomplished…just as it is despairing when you look back and feel you’ve wasted your time. In either respect looking back can be a huge motivator toward moving forward!

    • Hi Linda,
      you’re right, nothing better than looking back and seeing what you accomplished. It can be just as satisfying, and as important, to look back at things we *went* for, even if we didn’t accomplish them!
      Onwards and upwards!