I like to set goals then I focus on meeting those goals. You may be the same way. When I see the end in sight, I immediately start focusing on the next goal. Lately, there is just too much to do, too many projects to work on, too many older adults to help. I rush on to the next big task. After all, the rear view seems less important than the windshield when driving down the highway.  

In rushing forward, I minimize one crucial step of the goal setting process—reflection and celebration of accomplishments. I don’t look back to reflect and celebrate. When you look back, you can see how far you’ve come, and seeing this distance from where you were to where you are now is encouraging and fulfilling. And this helps you to keep pushing forward. Pausing to look back also reminds us of our purpose and gives us a sense of direction. 

Think about the sideview mirrors on your car. What if you want to change lanes, and a car is zooming in your direction? Or what if you are backing into a space? You need to see what’s behind you. Your sideview mirrors help illuminate your blind spots. Change and learning happens when we understand not only where we’re going but why and where we came from. In other words, understanding what’s behind you and moving forward are not mutually exclusive.

As the Shepherd’s Centers Network is approaching its 50th anniversary, we are taking a breath to reflect on the hard work, and both challenges and successes, from over the years. Pausing to reflect and learn from the smaller achievements (or missteps) and the accomplishment of reaching a goal is essential. It re-energizes, inspires, and motivates you to continue.   

Adjust your rear view mirror, pause, and think about what you accomplished in the past months and years. What were your three biggest successes, and how did these contribute to your overall center impact? Stopping to reflect on your goals and then examining the progress you have made, the milestones and accomplishments achieved, and the obstacles you’ve overcome will help you to see that despite the hardships, you have made a lot of progress that will motivate you to continue on. You’ll feel refocused and enthused about your goals and be ready to implement the next steps.

The small steps that lead to reaching a goal, as well as the successful completion, should not be overlooked. Filling our cup with positive and constructive feelings of success motivates us  to move forward.   Sarah Cheney

Sarah Cheney

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