Great topic! It's great because I've taken a bit of time to reflect on my own personal goals. Since I've only been studying for six months, I've had some goals that were unrealistic because of my lack of understanding, knowledge, and physical ability. Aikido has been much, much more than I anticipated.
I chose aikido to help bridge my body, mind, and spirit. I had a major health issue six years ago that left a few physical problems as well as anxiety, and panic attacks. My long term goal was to control and overcome these problems. It did not take long. No panic attacks in three months, no depression in four, and I'm more relaxed than I have been in years. Medications did not do in six years what aikido did in a few months. Wow!
My goal is to continue to grow and develop within our art. I'm striving to be an example to cancer patients and other cancer survivors that life after disease is possible, and rewarding.