How do you learn to set and work on goals as an adult?
November 30, 2011 7:43 AM Subscribe
How do I figure out what I want to be when I grow up? I've been very lucky in my life so far—just a little bit of work has yielded me amazing opportunities that have more or less fallen into my lap. But I'm starting to realize that I have no idea how to set, develop, and follow through on goals on my own.
posted by sockpuppet yo to Work & Money (5 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
So, I've had some fantastic work opportunities come my way (publishing in a niche market) and have been able to climb ladders pretty quickly. I have some name recognition. I am respected at my company and in my industry. I make good money and I kind of like what I do.
All of this just sort of...happened to me, though, mostly through a combination of being quick and faking it well, making good first impressions, and being in the right places at the right times. My whole adult life has been like this, which leads to a resume where I've done a lot of interesting things, but not really a career with cumulative experience or development. And I'm starting to realize that stumbling upon opportunities is not really a reliable or sustainable way to live - it was fine in my 20s, but not so much as I think about the future.
I have some big ideas for things I would like to do and build, but I don't know how to make them happen. I don't even know how to develop an idea, make it a goal, and follow through on it, because things have always just...worked out without my needing to push them very hard. Is there a book, website, or system you can recommend? Is this a therapy thing? Or is this what mentors do? How can I find one?
Basically, how does one go from dreams/wants --> real goals --> successfully executing those goals? I would like to feel some control over the direction of my life.
( I feel like this is a skill set everyone else has, but that I completely missed. I didn't even learn how to do this at school - I skated by without trying very hard, and then dumped college halfway through, when more-interesting-at-the-time opportunities came up.)