The dangers of (too many) goals and plans.

You may have remembered my “Goals for 2014” post from earlier in the month. I’m a big fan of making goals and plans at the beginning of the year. It’s fun, and gives me something to look forward to.  Of course, I don’t list all of my plans/goals, as some of them are of a personal nature. And also, I don’t like over-promising and under-delivering to you, my fellow readers. Or to myself.

Case in point: I had this idea for doing a bike overnight at least monthly this year. I read about a few other people doing this in 2013. I thought it was neat, but they were all Californians, so I didn’t think too much of it…until I did the camping trip to Oxbow on Christmas. Then I realized it was possible, even up here. Could I do it?

I hatched the idea to go explore a new campground, Dougan Falls, and announced I would be doing it on Tuesday January 21st. I got a few people interested in going, and started to work on logistics. Looks like I could pull it off, and I’d be on my way to my “bike overnight a month” goal.

Then I started to think about all the things I needed to get done. I’ve got a lot of stuff on my plate, and in the first few weeks of 2014 I hadn’t moved that much forward. That’s fine for longer-range stuff, but there are a few deadlines for the end of the month. And as the month is past half-done, these deadlines are weighing heavily over me.

Now in a normal month, it wouldn’t be too big of a deal, as I get at least two days off a week. But at the end of the month I’ll be traveling for a few days for work. I’ll get into the details on that very soon, but it’s a pretty recent development. While the travel will be good (and paid for), this means I’ll have no “free” days during the last week of the month. That just leaves the two days off on the 21st and 22nd, days I’ve already blocked off for camping.

I started to stress out. I really want to go camping. I really want to do one bike overnight a month. But how will I get all I need done if I don’t have a few free days to do it? Sure, I have time after work, but y’know, I like doing other things too, like reading books. And sometimes, sometimes it’s nice to have a break and not have to do anything.

So I made the call and cancelled the camping trip. While I still would like to do one overnight a month, I realized that it was an unrealistic goal for me in the short-run. I don’t want to fulfill goals because I feel obligated to them. I don’t want to do things that cause more stress than enjoyment. I realize that I don’t need to go camp during a month where I leave town twice. I’ll still try to do as many bike overnights as I can in 2014, but I’ll do it in such a way that doesn’t overload me.

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5 thoughts on “The dangers of (too many) goals and plans.

  1. I agree that having goals is GOOD, and that stressing about stuff that’s supposed to be fun is kind of self-defeating. The new blog is easier to follow by the way. Any idea when you might do a touring or organizing a ride spiel? Tim

  2. Pingback: Bike Overnight: Battle Ground Lake, 25-26 February 2014 | Urban Adventure League

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