28 Jan 2011
Accomplishing goals and I have a love-hate relationship. You see, I love accomplishing goals. Few things are more satisfying than writing down an objective, putting my mind to it, and then just absolutely killing it! Hopefully we’ve all had a chance to experience that in one way or another.
Unfortunately there’s a dark side of goal setting. It’s the side that nobody likes to talk about. It’s the fear of “what if I don’t make it?” I believe that a lot of us avoid setting goals in the first place because we’re not mentally ready to deal with the possibility of defeat. I know I’ve passed up many an opportunity for self-improvement simply because I didn’t want to have to deal with the possibility of falling short.
Today I’m here to talk you back from the edge and get you in the right mindset for moving forward. Being stagnant is not your friend and it never will be. Progress will provide you with an endless supply of awesome.
So what if you don’t accomplish your goal?
What if you don’t lose those 20 pounds, or finish training for your marathon, or learn to cook like Rachael Ray?
Are you going to be worse off than you were before you tried?
I’m the first one to admit that coming up short can be frustrating. I also know that being able to run 6 miles without stopping is a lot more fun than getting winded walking to the fridge for another Pepsi.
Some Things Are Out of Our Control
Last fall I had grand aspirations of running a half marathon. I was mentally ready to do it. I had never run more than 4 miles before that but I was particularly pumped because I was going to be able to raise funds for an organization that benefits autism research. Considering my son has autism it was just the boost I needed to really focus my efforts.
I started my training and no more than 3 or 4 weeks into it I got hit by the injury bug. An unidentified (then) sickness that had me light headed every time I set out to run. At first it really got me down. I had a hard time dealing with it for a few months, but then I realized something important. I realized that even though I never made it to 13.1 miles, I still made it to 6 and that was a personal best for me.
The truth is that there are going to be things in life that blindside us and may temporarily keep us from getting to the top of that mountain, but the possibility of those things happening can’t keep us from getting started in the first place.
We’re Too Familiar with Ourselves
If you’re like me you know what your strengths and your weaknesses are. At times I’m daunted by goal setting because my goals are to improve the areas where I lack the most.
One way I’ve found to work around talking myself out of goal setting because I lack confidence in an area, is to focus on my strengths and how they can potentially help in the goal achievement process.
I know that one of my biggest weaknesses is procrastination (who’s with me?). I also know that as far as technology goes, I have some real gifts. It sounds simple, but every time I set a goal related to getting things done on time, I use my geeky tools to help me focus on my goal.
I recently had a goal of having a daily planning meeting for 3 areas of my life. I wanted to re-evaluate on a daily basis what I needed to get done for my family, for my business, and for myself. Every day I set an alarm on my phone and setup an automatic email to remind myself to have this meeting. It was simple but every time I got the reminders I would stop what I was doing and out loud I would say “time to get my plan ready!” Now if I miss a day of the meeting I feel weird for the rest of the day. It’s kind of like when you leave the house and you think you left the stove on. Recognizing how my strengths could support an area where I wasn’t as strong really ended up paying off with my daily planning sessions.
There’s Nothing to Be Afraid Of.
For a parting thought I’d like to leave you with the wise words of Tracy Jordan from 30 Rock – “Live every week like it’s Shark Week!” Or maybe you’ll do better with Robin Williams and his inspiring message of “Carpe Diem!” Whichever phrase resonates with you the best is fine, just know that the fear of coming up short on your goals is common for all of us. Also know that there’s nothing to be afraid of.Check out my latest posts here