Type A Accomplishments: Occasionally Bittersweet

Being a very goal-oriented person can be a double-edged sword.  Especially if you aren’t in tune with the people around you.  You can accomplish a lot.  But, if you’re not careful, those accomplishments can come at a cost to your relationships.  One of the biggest challenges for Type A people is to find balance between the need for accomplishment and relationships in their lives.


Intentionally Planning For Your Goals

Assuming you have relationships in your life that you value and you’re a very goal-oriented person, it’s important that you carefully consider a few things about any new goals you undertake.  I learned this the (somewhat) hard way by not being as intentional as I should have when I got my masters degree.

  1. Do you have the right resources?  –  If you’re going to start a new job, get a degree, or even start a new training regime, it’s important to consider what resources you’ll need to be successful.  If you’re going to change jobs, you might need a car to ensure that you can make it to & from work everyday.  If you’re going to get a degree, you will need tuition money.  If you’re going to start a new training program, you might need the expertise of someone else or the right equipment.  And, if you don’t have the right resources, maybe your initial goal should be to secure those resources so you can ensure you’ll be successful in your long-term goal.
  2. Who will be affected?  –  It may be easy to think that if you’re going to get a degree or you change jobs or you even start making different choices about what to eat, it only affects you.  But that’s rarely the case.  While you shouldn’t let others hold you back from making positive changes in your life, it’s also important to consider how to effectively avoid your personal choice from becoming a forced change in their lives where they feel like they’re being “dragged along for the ride.”  The last thing you need is built up resentment from the people you love because they feel like they weren’t given a choice.  It’s important to have an open & honest conversation with the people who will be directly affected so that you  can come up with a plan together to reach your goals without negatively affecting your relationships.
  3. Is now the right time?  –  What else is currently going on in your life?  Does your current company provide day care where your kids attend?  Are you ok with changing the day care where your kids attend?  Is there significant change already happening in your life or in your significant other’s life?  If a change would result in a drastic upheaval or a significant amount of added pressure to an already stressful situation, then maybe it’s not the right time to make a drastic change.   Maybe you need to address the current situation in your life before you shake things up with yet another big decision.

What happens if you don’t?

You’ll likely still meet your goals.  But, on your way there, you might encounter more roadblocks than you would have otherwise if you had just considered & secured the resources you would need to get there efficiently.  If you don’t approach the decision wisely with the people who will be significantly affected by your change then you may deeply & negatively impact your relationships or even lose them.  If you don’t consider the timing, you may even end up with more hurdles to overcome or create new problems you didn’t anticipate.

My masters degree ended up being just this situation.  I had always wanted to get my masters.  When I started it, the key resource that was an issue at the time was my time.  I was involved in multiple large & time-intensive projects at work.  But I ignored the warning signs.  I also didn’t consider my husband’s feelings or things that were going on with his job at the time.  He had a very stressful job where he was on call and they called him regularly (multiple times a week) in the middle of the night.  Additionally, I ignored his concerns about how my added stress would affect him since he cares about me.  Which led to timing in general.  I had a time table I’d established in my own mind and “so help me” if I was going to not meet that time table, even though it was fairly arbitrary.  I did get my masters degree.  It took about 18 months.  Over the course of those 18 months, a lot of other things changed.  But, when I finally graduated, it was bittersweet.  I was excited because I finally had that degree I wanted.  But, I really wished I’d done things differently.  I could have avoided so many stressful situations.  My shadow box with my hood, tassel & diploma folder are still setting on the floor because I still have very mixed emotions when it comes to that accomplishment.



What about your goals?

Have you thought about these aspects of your goals?  Are you fighting up-hill when a change in approach could result in success?  Are you a Type A who needs to be a little more intentional?  How might some additional consideration & planning help you?


Wishing you an All+SUM LIFE,

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