You reached your goal, now what?
This goal was bread out of the fact that I missed reading “for fun” and during graduate school it is damn near possible. I set this goal last year and I didn’t reach it. I read 37 books last year.
That is pretty close to fifty, but not the goal. And I was a little bummed but at the time my therapist told me “think about the amount of books you wouldn’t have read if you set a lower goal?” And that resonated with me. But even though I didn’t reach it last year, I was determined to reach it this year even though I learned a lot along the way last year when I didn’t meet it. I wanted to know what it felt like to reach such a high goal while pursuing my master’s degree.
So here I am in June and I finished fifty books. I didn’t think I would finish that goal in the middle of the year but here I am . I did it, so now what?
I am not searching for another goal; however, as someone who is always going and going and trying to reach for better everyday it is odd to not set a new goal. So the now is that I get to relish in the fact that I completed such a personal goal. I was able to graduate with my master’s, pass comps during that, get married, take two classes, and still managed to read and reach this goal.
The lesson I guess I learned from setting and achieving this goal is that I truly can do whatever I want to do. I mean I know that is cliche but it is true. In a world that constantly tells Black and Brown folks that they cannot do things, it feels good to DO SOMETHING.
There were a lot of things that I learned while reading. I committed myself to only reading authors of color this year and that was the best decision that I made. There are so many stories and authors that I was never exposed to.
The main thing I learned from achieving this goal was the ability to just sit in silence. To sit with my thoughts and a good book. To allow myself to be disconnected from my phone, laptop, and other forms of technology. To just be. This is by no means an attack on social media but it is a statement about the amount of time i personally used to spend on social media.
After I completed the fiftieth book, I text my family and told them and my oldest sister responded with some wise words (as she usually does). She told me not to pressure myself with a new goal and to just allow myself to celebrate accomplishing this.
Although that seems simple, it really is hard to do. We live in a society that says “you can sleep when you’re dead.” That you have to constantly be moving. In a society like that we never give ourselves time to reflect on the things we have done. Just because we have accomplished a goal doesn’t mean we have to automatically make another one.
We are taught to not pat ourselves on the back and tell ourselves good job. That means we are prideful and cocky, yet in reality it is us giving ourselves the praise we deserve. We have to allow ourselves to feel proud and grateful.
You may have accomplished a goal recently and now you’re curious to know what to do next and I am here to tell you to just sit with it. To be proud. To reflect on the discipline it took for you to accomplish it.