With every new year, birthday, or life milestone, our renewed ambition leads us to create goals for ourselves. We often create professional, personal, and relationship goals with multi-step plans to ensure that we be successful. As revitalizing goal setting can be, it’s important that we recognize how certain events can throw us off.

Failure is not an option

Between the deadliest pandemic in recent history and the Black Lives Matter movement, your plans may have changed. But, that’s okay. It’s difficult to plan for unforeseen risks and events while goal setting, so it’s important to be flexible. If you haven’t yet accomplished what you had set out to, that doesn’t mean that you’re a failure. That just means you’re human.

Your priorities today aren’t the same as what they were three months ago or even a week ago, so it’s time that your plan reflects your new priorities. For some of you, that might mean setting goals that reflect your need to take care of yourself and heal. For most of you, that should mean critically self-reflecting on your privileges, biases, silence. As well as the ways in which you may perpetuate systemic oppression in particularly, anti-Black racism.


If you feel that you can only authentically commit and hold yourself accountable for the short-term, then do that. But, set daily, weekly, and/or monthly reminders to track progress. As you accomplish these shorter-term goals, begin thinking about what longer-term plans should look like for you. Share your plans and accomplishments with supportive people you trust to promote a community of growth and accountability.

Plans might not necessarily expire, but they do evolve. And the beauty in goal setting lies in the fact that we evolve with them.

Further Reading

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