Where the word once used to stand alone in the name of setting and making targets, “#goals” — preceded by that important hashtag — has become the most sincere form of Internet compliment.
Your outfit is #goals
Their relationship is #goals
I love your outfit.
I want a romantic connection where sweatpants and pizza are foreplay, too.
You guys look fun, wish we could hang.
(It’s actually refreshing amid all of the mean stuff that gets thrown into the social media-sphere.)
But of course, the original meaning of those goals is “I want to achieve.” One sets goals to score — that promotion, those abs, that finally-organized closet, a savings account; it’s not meant for a hashtag to linger in the Inter-ether and then be forgotten like a party hat following New Year’s Eve the moment your friend mentions you under a new meme.
Real goals keep us focused. They help us prioritize.
Leandra and I talked about resolutions leading up to her most recent episode of Monocycle, and we asked each other: have you ever actually kept a resolution? My answer was no — that the large and lofty bars I’d set went un-jumped, sometimes limboed under but were most typically walked around. Throughout the year, however, things do get accomplished. Satisfying items are checked off the list of life to-do’s. Goals — both little and big — are achieved.
They just aren’t always written down in the New-Year-flavored permanent marker with a stop watch attached, ticking down second by second each day.
Which is precisely why we’ve turned January into #Goals Month at Man Repeller. December, the month of Little Indulgences, concluded with a post asking you what your Goldfish Resolutions were; what things will you aspire to achieve so that you grow and feel great as opposed to shrink in shame for not becoming the world’s youngest billionaire who also lost three pounds. Because life (and I promise you I’m telling myself this, too) is not really a ladder. Each wrung climbed is not another step toward the best and ultimate you. You’re already you. Life is way more shape-shifty. Wobbly. Fuck-up-able. It means your target can and will change.
In basically every sport, they tell you to zero-in and focus on The Thing ahead: the net, the ball, the spot on the wall if you’re a ballerina and spinning really fast. But that net, the ball, the spot on the wall — it changes every game. It changes within the game! So you just keep setting goals.
Pick a spot and aim.
Welcome to Goals Month.
Photographed by Krista Anna Lewis