Letting Go Of Old Goals


“Life is a balance of holding on and letting go.” – Rumi


It’s always great to have personal and career-related goals – if you know what you want and where you want to end up, you can build a roadmap around your goals. The security of having goals keeps you on track as you are working towards them. However, goals can change over time. Life can be very unpredictable, and can throw you off by requiring you to make changes in your short and long-term goals. Here, it becomes important knowing when to let go of a goal, when to adapt it to the new situation, and when to decide if your old goal is still attainable. Letting go of an old goal can be a painful process depending on how much you’ve already invested in it. You’ve dreamed about attaining it, and maybe you were very close before realizing the unexpected turn of events now requires you to change course.

As disappointing as this may be, it is important to realize that this was not your fault. Life is what happens when you are busy making other plans, so there was probably nothing you could have done. As much as we like thinking that we are in full control of our lives, this is not exactly true. Life itself is an equation with hundreds of variables – variables that depend on much bigger motifs in life that are completely unrelated to you – change one, and the whole equation shifts.

Once you come to terms with this, its time to peacefully let go of the old goal, or alter it. I’m a strong believer that whatever you do in life, if that is not the right path for you, the universe will change a “variable” in your equation to guide you in the one that is meant for you. Don’t mourn – you’ve probably learned so much from your old goal about yourself. Instead, be proud of what you’ve accomplished and learned, and try to incorporate that into the new goal that you will have to set for yourself.

The situation can change a hundred times before and after you’ve accomplished your goal. It can leave you forming sentences that begin with “if only I had”s. It can make you feel lost and helpless in the middle of the roadmap you’ve constructed at a time when the roadmap still seemed relevant. The point I’m trying to make is that the situation will be what it will be, and more often than not, you will have no say in that. What you can control, however, is how you view this sudden change. Seeing it as an opportunity to grow in a better direction than before will help you succeed in this new path. Instead of condemning life for throwing you off your balance and your path, embrace this change so you can adapt to the new situation and start working on your new goal as soon as possible.

Be Sociable, Share!

Comments are closed.

Blog authors are solely responsible for the content of the blogs listed in the directory. Neither the content of these blogs, nor the links to other web sites, are screened, approved, reviewed or endorsed by McGill University. The text and other material on these blogs are the opinion of the specific author and are not statements of advice, opinion, or information of McGill.