My biggest curseword starts with "G"

I curse like a sailor, but there are few words I consider curses. One of them, one of the biggest ones, starts with "G".

Goals. Goals, as far as I am concerned, are nothing but vile cursewords, designed to shock with revulsion and vulgarity. Or at least that's how I feel about the word. Goals are something people with safe lives set. Goals are something people with sane lives set. Goals are something people with stability set.

Goals are not set by people who wound up getting expelled from three high schools because they were a fucked up, abused youth. Goals are not set by people who have lived such life-long poverty that they make it a point to take handfuls of napkins from any restaurant they visit, awaiting the inevitable day they don't have a dollar to buy a cheap set of toilet paper. Goals are not something ex-junkies who still miss their drugs, 20 years later, make.

Goals are not set by people who randomly tell their husbands of 10 years that they want a divorce and then plunge themselves into a 5 year partnership with someone who misspends 14 thousand dollars of rent money. Goals are not set by people who get job after job after job, losing them because they just "weren't a good fit". Goals are not set by those who lose their dream job that they were actually making headway at because their kidneys decided to play Russian Roulette.

(And there's only two chambers in that version of the game.)

Goals are not for people who cut themselves because they're bored, or who always seems to land in the psych ward on the day they've made active plans to hang out with friends. Goals are not for people whose immune system has made a game of Devil's Chess a fond pastime.

Goals are not for people for whom, either having done it themselves or who just have an adversarial relationship with Fate, make. We just don't do it. It's pointless. Why put all that effort, time, work, and HOPE into something that Life's just gonna yank out from under you anyways?

I loathe goals. I do not believe in them. I do not "do" goals.

And because Fate has decided it knows better than me (and hey, it probably does sometimes), my case manager have been setting goals for the last two weeks. Small goals. Infinitesimal goals. Toddler steps.

Goals such as (set today) I will call and make an appointment for food stamps tomorrow. I'm far less likely to blow off an official appointment than if I just wait till I feel like going. Goals such as coming up with three places I might consider volunteering at and bringing her the information when we meet next.

Goals that make me feel like a 12 year old, instead of the 36 year old who SHOULD be raking in her 401K by now. Goals that make me feel like I'm starting out on the bottom rung again. Goals that I'm terrified I won't be able to keep because I'm just so fucking bad at them, no matter how simple they may seem.

Goals require reliability. I am not reliable right now. And I know that THAT is what make the goals so important right now, because one gains reliability THROUGH ACCOMPLISHING GOALS. Beyond abolishing boredom (a huge problem right now), giving a person a sense of identity (also a huge problem right now), accomplishing goals is a life-raft someone can hold onto when the waves get too rough. "Can't go off the rails now, I have (INSERT X GOAL) to report on next week."

And it's so goddamn cliche, but really, I am that typical "afraid to set goals because I'm afraid I'll fail" person. There's fear - real fear - here about the idea of goals. About the stupidly small goals I set today.

What if I can't hold it together long enough to get to her next week with anything? What if I wind up doing something and bleeding and spend the next week in yet another psych ward stay? What if I get the appointment for food stamps set and get sick and can't go? What if I don't fit the volunteer requirements for the places I want to volunteer at?

Worst of all, what if I just don't want to do it because it's fucking work?

What if I have to face not only my fear, but my laziness as well?

What if?

What if?

What if I have to let go of a lifetime of not believing in something (goals) and have to build a whole new structure around the concept, which is a FUUUUUCKTON of work?

What if?

What if?

What if I can't do it?

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Hm... At first, I'd seperate the duties from the goals 'cause duties are a different department. Those are things you must do which are often important. It's not a pleasure to do them, it's just sheer duty.

Then, for goals... Just don't set goals for yourself just because you think it must be this way or other people were to regard you as "lazy" if you had none. Set them up because you want them yourself.
One who is stuck in survival mode forever because of shit that happened in the past, such person won't ever be able to act like people who have always lived under a cheese cover. It's literally (become) not your nature, your essense, to think in tomorrows farer then "How will I survive tomorrow and avoid pain?". So this is gonna be destined to fail, if you try to think and act otherwisely.
Simply put: Mentally you're not able to it. It won't ever be realistic if you tried to think in goals and plans like life is a thing that dances to your pipe. 'Cause you've literally learned, it doesn't do so.
"Survive tomorrow and avoid pain" can be a goal in itself.

The important thing about goals is you don't have to beat yourself up about it if goals don't get accomplished.

I tell people at work all the time that I set lofty goals for myself every day and accomplish almost none of them. My job is set up horribly to have a million distractions all day long. I just prioritize what must get done today and for everything else there will always be tomorrow. Or there won't. Either way, win/win.

I kinda view goals more as something I can chip away at little by little on a road to continuous self-improvement. I don't always accomplish anything because I can be lazy, too. But they keep me on the path to the outcome I hope to one day achieve.

If I didn't set "One day, I hope to behave on this manner" or "One day, I want to have this thing done" goals for myself I feel like I wouldn't have anything to work toward.

So "get through today without cutting" can be a goal. If it doesn't happen, that is not a failure; that is a setback. You just have to chip away at that goal tomorrow, and the next day, and the day after until you feel comfortable with "get through next week without cutting" or "get through next month without cutting." If the endgame is to no longer cut, then daily/weekly/monthly goals is a step toward that end. Without setting goals, you can't make plans or contingencies.

I am very much a goal person. A goal, to me, is an objective, an idea, a vague concept. I am stellar at generating vague concepts and ideas. I am less so at creating plans with any sort of detail. I see forests, not trees. But when I create a goal -- when I know what end I'm working toward -- it helps me to deal with, put into perspective, and prioritize all the hurdles life or my own nature throws at me.

My goal for today is to mow the lawn and murder some weeds. Don't know when yet, but I know that is what I need to accomplish. And if it rains or I feel too tired, then that will move to tomorrow's goal, repeat until accomplished.

It's taken me a long time to understand the usefulness of goals, but setting them has helped me more than hindered me throughout my life.

Obvs. this reply was meant more for Tizzy than yourself. You just said something I ended up using as a jumping-off point for everything I wanted to say.
Thank's that you wrote the last paragraph, otherwise I would have asked myself again "Huh? What did I do to end up in something like this again?"...

With goals I learned it myself: If you're not one of those blessed children, which are skilled at literally everything, then you needn't make goals like "in 5 years I want to have this", "in 10 years I want that" or set up some utopic goals for you like "now I don't even have a driver's license, in a few years I wanna be a trucker". It doesn't work this way for you. It's not like those people who can plan their life according to a time table.
Making goals that are like "planning according to a time table", those are damned to fail in your hands because you don't have the inner structures just for that.
You need to find a different way for you, also perhaps you need to find other goals than those which these people typically pick from the bar.
To give a practical example: You needn't think in buying a big house if already paying your own rent for a flat now is an obstacle for you.
Or, you needn't think in buying / building houses if it happened to you that you can't walk on your own anymore by the time you're 35. What do you want with a house? A standard house needs to be totally adapted to those needs then, which eats money like fuck that needs to be earned. And even then, working on your house, if something needs to be done, you can't do it yourself because you can't stand on your own feet, so somebody else has to do it for you. Every little damn thing.
So what is this "goal" or "lifetime dream" worth then? It gets you more trouble and work than your life already has for you anyway...
This dream - and goal - is obsolete then through that circumstance. Needn't put that on your list anymore because all other people in your age have it, because it's a human-picked "standard".

So, better it is: Pick something realistic as a goal. Pick something that is inside the range of your powers. Also, inside the range of your powers if you play a bit ambitious.
Not the big social standards and "how everything's supposed to be".
If life throws a board at your forehead, and you don't manage to duck, then you need to try to live with it...

Lots of those time-table planners which make you depressive over how few you have accomplished, those never seem to know or even be able to imagine how that is.
I set goals like "I need to finish my shelves," "I want to kill the weeds in my yard," "I need to pare down the junk in the house," "Someday I'd like to teach myself to paint or sculpt."

I don't put a time limit on this. That's when it starts to become a plan, and then the overwhelming anxiety and feelings of futility.

They're just ideas I have which drive me -- slowly -- to a desired outcome. I can research, determine needs, and buy supplies based on these loose ideas or goals. If I don't feel like it one day, or even one month, eh, nbd because I know sometime in the future I will.
Hm... I think just not putting a time limit depends on the person, what the person needs. I know it like that: Better put a little time limit to it, otherwisely nothing gets done in a week.
But then I see it's better to put time limits with a wider span, not too short, 'cause "short" causes already pressure again. And, it also leaves no space for bad days or other unplanned things which can get in between.
On days I feel like it, I know it's something I need to work on. On days I don't or can't; there's no threat of a deadline hanging over my head to make me feel like a piece of shit for neglecting my goals. It's kind of a one-day-at-a-time sort of perpetual recovery mode.

Edited at 2017-07-16 02:47 pm (UTC)
I try to treat it this way too, as I noticed I'm used to a pretty strict regime when it comes down to doing one's duties.
Keep saying "if I'm not able to on this day, then I'm not able to - if I was seriously ill this day and puking my guts out for whatever reason my body's got a mood for, then I couldn't do so too".
Only it's a pain for things you wanted to do personally and you find yourself being unable to do, ruining everything that you put on your personal To-do-list for the day that you wanted to get done. And tomorrow same thing happens or some other thing gets in between you and your wishes...
Some days just the duties and daily routines are enough to burn me out. Other days I have a bit more energy and ambition.
Either; sometimes both depends on the day. How many people I've had to talk to and how much legwork I've had to do each day.
Hmmm. Goals ARE set by ex-junkies, or they would be corpses lying in in a pool of their own vomit. Some are as simple as "I'm not going to try to score some crank tonight", even if the underlying reason is because your connections want (a) the kilo you got ripped off for and (b) you dead.

Some of my goals once were "I'm going to panhandle enough cash to get something to eat -- or a pack of smokes."

Goals don't have to be big to be important.