Skip to main content
SFU Health and Counselling Services
Registered Clinical Counsellor

IKEA logo
Thanks to this goal, I've been motivated to look for volunteer counselling opportunities in the community, to keep my skills sharp and diversify my counselling experience before jumping out on my own.

I was supposed to be an astronaut by now.

At least, that's what six year old Dave would have you believe. He had some other ideas that didn't pan out, too (that giant house made of Lego would have been nice), but I won't blame him for being imaginative.

It didn't stop there, though. Did I mention I was only able to get out of the restaurant industry for good the third time I quit? I was also supposed to finish university in four years - didn't happen. Finish my master's degree in two more? No sir. That shiny, thriving private practice I told myself I would be running today didn't happen, either.

You might think, given my past rantings on such things as happenstance, chaos theory, and the general unpredictability of life and the world, that I would be opposed to any sort of goal-setting or similar such planful (yes, it is a word) activities. After all, as the saying goes where I work, "there is no plan." Here's the thing though: while I've certainly come up with some goals that weren't quite SMART over the years, and I am very much a take-it-as-it-comes kind of person, I actually think that - under certain circumstances - setting goals can be an interesting and occasionally useful activity.

Wait - doesn't that conflict with the whole 'embrace change and uncertainty' thing that I'm always talking about?

It would, but only if you thought of goals and plans like instruction manuals for your life (you want to click that link, trust me), to be put together step by step. As it happens, I am not a piece of Ikea furniture (though I could see "Lindsköög"  as an Ikea product name... maybe a desk chair? A coat rack?).  I suppose I would think of good goals more like road maps - in most cases, there are many ways to get to a destination, and lots of things that might happen during your travels could change how you arrive at that destination, or even the destination itself. Some goals would be more strict that others, requiring you to follow a very specific series of routes, while others could be achieved by dozens of potential route combinations.

But even that doesn't really capture it for me. The thing is, unlike what I suspect is most people's approach to planning, I don't set goals for the sake of the future - I set them to benefit in the present. Here's why: I've set enough goals that haven't come to fruition to know that they're not going to be an accurate predictor of my life in the future. But the very act of goal-setting can be surprisingly motivating, and often leads to taking meaningful action in the present.

So, with that in mind, I'd like to share with you a goal that I may or may not achieve this year, and - more importantly - how it's already paying off in the here and now.

Start a Part-Time Private Counselling Practice

This one's been on my radar for several years, but the timing would appear to be perfect around summer time this year, when I'm projected to be at work for four days a week. That leaves one day a week open to play around with the unfamiliar and not-insignificantly risky business of opening a practice, without sacrificing any much-needed financial stability.

How's it paying off already? Thanks to this goal, I've been motivated to look for volunteer counselling opportunities in the community, to keep my skills sharp and diversify my counselling experience before jumping out on my own.

I'll likely have more on the progress of this goal, and the actions it's inspired, as things develop.

As for this entry, I think I'll close with a "more you know" moment:

Goals are much more likely to be achieved if you write them down. I wonder if that's even more so if it's in a public forum, such as a blog?

SFU Health and Counselling Services
Registered Clinical Counsellor
David Lindskoog is a Registered Clinical Counsellor at Health & Counselling who used to work as a Career Advisor with Career Services. David is passionate about suicide prevention, social justice, career and professional development concerns, and the use of role-playing games in therapy. Check out his group: Dungeons & Worry Dragons. While you're here, check out Dave's Diary! It is an ongoing series of journal entries touching on various aspects related to careers and well-being. Want to hear Dave's thoughts on a particular topic?  Send him an email, and he'll do his best to include it in his next post!  

You Might Like These... Volunteering, Leadership, Professional Development, Personal Development

Students from an orientation session
Student Profile: Pamela Santos on becoming an Orientation Leader

When I first met Pamela Santos at this year’s Leadership Summit, I was immediately drawn to her enthusiasm. Pamela, who is currently a third-year Business and Criminology student, introduced herself to me in an icebreaker game at the summit.

Photo of 8 men stacked in triangular pyramid formation, standing on each others shoulders
Team Work Works: The Story Behind the Photo

Karan Durairajan may be new to SFU, but that didn’t stop him from entering the 2008 WIL Photo Contest under the brand new entry category, Community Engagement. Read the story behind the photo.

Two women are talking to each other while each holding a book. They are smiling at each other.
Why Be a Career Peer Educator?

Do you want to hear directly from Career Peers about their thoughts on volunteering as a Career Peer? This article showcases reflections from Career Peers on their experience. 

You Might Like These... Indigenous Career Journey Stories

three images of ernie smiling
Indian Ernie: Perspectives on Policing and Leadership FNSA Aboriginal Criminology Series

The FNSA Aboriginal Criminology Series Perspectives on Leadership and Policing is on January 28th at SFU Harbour Centre. Join them to hear from Sgt. Ernie Louttit. After 27 years with the Saskatoon Police Service, he is retiring and publishing his memoirs.

Picture of an empty board room
5 Benefits of Joining an Executive Board

There are many benefits to joining an Executive Board, here are five you might discover at SFU or beyond!

Image of the Author
Recruitment & Career Development: What Employers Want

Having been involved in recruitment and on-boarding processes, discussions with managers and engineering recruitment teams, I share my experiences in recruitment and career development to give you insight into what employers are looking for.