Last week we took a look at two different ways of thinking about goals.
If goals are the destination, fads may be the mode of transportation. Fads and trends encompass everything from fashion, exercise (Richard Simmons ring a bell, anyone?), entertainment, social norms like communication, and even mental health and wellness. People are always looking for the next big thing. That “thing” is often dictated by social networks, celebrities, and media. One thing is certain: a fad will eventually fade out.
For this reason, it’s crucial to know what moments in your life will be impactful and long lasting and which ones will eventually fade out.
Fads and trends are not always a bad thing. They can be helpful in reaching goals, creating lasting relationships based on interest, and be fun and exciting. Think of it this way: one of your goals may be to rekindle friendships that have been put on the back burner because of work or a busy family life. The fad that may help you reach that goal could be something like Paint Nite (https://www.paintnite.com/) or playing Halo on X-Box.
There’s no harm in keeping a fad around if it poses no real threat.
We may roll our eyes at past trends and fads we’ve indulged in, but goals like maintaining a healthy, realistic weight or being more optimistic during trying times are never things we reflect upon and wonder “what on earth was I thinking?!”
Goals may or may not be subject to the wax and wane of fads, but if you want them to stick, remember that internal source of motivation we talked about earlier. Introspection with regards to goals is crucial. Why are you really chasing your goals? Does the purpose truly serve you? What part of your identity and values show up in the goals you set, and how do you go about meeting them?
While goals are more stable than any fad, it’s certainly okay–even encouraged–to reevaluate and adjust goals to make them attainable and motivating. This is where goals can take a lesson from fads. Fads are fleeting and fun, but goals can feel as monotonous as walking on a treadmill. There are many roads to one destination and many destinations that create a sense of happiness and accomplishment. Making small modifications and changes can keep the sense of passion you’ll need to keep yourself motivated and engaged in creating a better you.
Ready to step into your brighter future today? Let the counseling professionals at The Stone Foundation be of support to you and your loved one as you navigate your the road of long-lasting change. Visit us online at www.thestonefoundation.com or call us at 410.296.2004. We are here to support you.
Please know that this article is intended for general, educational purposes only. This article, and others like it, should not and are not meant to take the place of professional counseling services or medical care.
Lauren Greenberg, MS, LGPC is a graduate of Loyola’s Counseling Practitioner Program. For three years, Lauren provided hotline crisis intervention to residents of Baltimore City. She also has experience providing counseling to students at a local college for issues including grief and loss, depression, substance abuse, self-harm, anxiety, and trauma. Her professional interests and areas of study include positive psychology, promoting social and emotional competence, and women’s issues.
Reach your goals by different and fun means, fads included, and you may find that goals become less like work and more like living life.