I came home the other day and was delightfully surprised to find a very old and completely forgotten piece of paper. I guess my mother had been doing a bit of tidying when she discovered an old assignment of mine from middle school, “My Goals.” Reading over it provided quite a bit of humour, but I couldn’t help but notice that a few of the goals written were close to what I’ve come to achieve thus far, at least as far as the longer term goals go.
Doing the math, this would’ve been my first year of middle school, grade six, which makes me a tender eleven years old. Acknowledging that not everyone can see as well as I can, I’ll rewrite the goals above verbatim, with reflection added in italics.
Very Long Term Goals: (When I’m an adult)
Career — To own a computer company called Ultralight Computing World.
Even at a young age I was showing aspirations of being an entrepreneur, and add to that it involves computers, though I can’t imagine working in a retail environment.
Personal — I want to become a funnier person.
I guess I wasn’t considering myself all that funny at the time. I still don’t really, even though most people seem to be of the opinion that I’m one of the funniest guys they know. I’ve even been asked how I got so funny, to which I gave the typical response, “An abusive childhood.”
Long Term Goals: (What I want to achieve by the end of the year)
Academic — I want to become a better “math man”.
I’m not sure why I wrote “math man” with the quotation marks — maybe that was me trying to be funny, in which case the previous goal was obviously necessary. Math was always a daunting subject, right to the bitter end of public school. It wasn’t that it was particularly difficult to understand, I just couldn’t stand doing it. Making me do math is like trying to give a cat a bath, at least according to those I’ve spoken to on the subject that own cats.
Physical — I want to become the best golie on the block.
That’s right, “golie”. I should’ve been more realistic with my academic goal and chosen spelling. Anyways, I played a lot of street hockey as a kid, but I don’t think that continued very long into middle school. According to my recollection, I was probably the best kid on the block, but that’s all relative.
Personal — I would like to own my own online web page. Also become a better story writter and drawer.
Again, I should’ve really focused on my spelling. I don’t know what I would’ve done with a personal website at the age of eleven, but I knew it was something important. It may have taken longer than the year I had from the time of writing that assignment, but heck, I’ve got it! The second part of that goal has also occurred, but that sort of stuff always improves the more you do it.
Short Term Goals: (What I want to achieve by the end of the term)
Academic — Become a good studier.
I’ll give myself a solid Fail on that one. Even through college I never studied for tests. I always did well enough that I would’ve rather been playing video games than reading those tiresome tomes.
Physical — Play more hockey.
I may have, but as stated previously I don’t think that lasted very long. I do however still play hockey video games and watch it when the season’s on. Does that count?
Personal — Become a better runner.
Hmm, kind of another physical goal, isn’t it? Oh well, the teacher gave me an ‘A’ and a “Well Done Colin”, so I must’ve nailed it. Honestly, I don’t know if any eleven year old really understand what personal goals are. I can say however that I have accomplished this goal, though again not within the timeframe suggested. Twelve years late is better than never. (Unless it’s a wedding. Twelve years is probably a little too late for that.)
The second side of the sheet, above, goes on to provide space to write strategies to achieve the goals, identify obstacles to these aspirations, and theorize solutions to avoid getting caught up in “life”. I won’t go over this side in detail as it’s not as entertaining, though I had to chuckle at this bit:
What are some of the challenges/obstacles that may get in your way?
… Friends (only considering 1 and 3).
Those numbers referencing previously laid out action plans to achieve my goals, I think it’s funny that at eleven I was already in the habit of referring back in the text. How scholarly.
Goals are always an interesting subject. On one hand, it’s great to look optimistically towards the future. However, it seems that through one’s course of life things often change course drastically, whether it be due to a dissolving interest in an initial dream or the discovery of a new one, which one might say ultimately renders goals useless. Considering this was written thirteen years ago I’d say a lot of this stuff has come more to fruition than not. Then again, maybe I was just a realistic kid — you don’t see astronaut cowboy or part-time rock star/part-time superhero on there.