Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Goal Setting+Action=No Regrets
In taking the 'plunge' and joining Team In Training, I find that I have some mixed emotions. Surprisingly, I am more excited about the impact I hope to make by raising money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society then I am to finish a marathon. The picture here is of Josh Garrido, my hero, who has been undergoing treatment for leukemia for the past 2 years. With two more years of treatment to go, we hope his cancer will officially be declared in remission. So, with inspiration like Josh, how could I not be excited?? But I also find myself worried and nervous about the fundraising even though I collected almost 10% of my goal ($3000) in just one week of activating my TNT website! Still, I get a little queasy, sweaty palmed, and light-headed as I ponder my ability to accomplish this goal...but I just can't let self-doubt creep in and sabotage my success!!
This is the first time, in a very long time, that I have set a rather large goal for myself with actual 'boundaries'. Meaning, this is a tangible and measurable goal (to raise $3000 and run 26.2 on June 5, 2011)...not simply an open-ended goal (or resolution) such as "I promise to drink more water". More water then what? Then last year? How much water DID I drink last year? And exactly when and how will I know if I reach this goal??
You see, many of us create goals with no possible way of knowing if we've reached them. We basically set ourselves up for failure and/or disappointment because we can't really SEE (or measure) our small successes along the way. Many of our goals and resolutions get kicked to the curb because they feel insurmountable, they provide no way for us to measure our progress or success, allowing wishy-washy direction which will inevitably make us feel lost. These types of goals make it hard for us to achieve success and to tackle more goals because we never really feel the sense of accomplishment that we are setting our goals for in the first place.
So, I sit here at my computer, thinking not just about these two new goals but also about the various other goals that I wish to accomplish and how I can rewrite them to make them attainable. No longer do I want to have the goal to "lose weight"...but rather, "I will weigh no more then 127 pounds". Setting the goal with a real and attainable number, I know where I am going and what it will take to get me there. For some of my bigger goals that have "road blocks", such as a significant financial investment to reach that goal, I will create mini-goals that will support these larger goals. For instance, I have a goal to climb Mt. Shasta. This will require a financial investment to pay for the guided trip and rental of some equipment. To work toward this goal I am setting a mini-goal to sell several items on eBay, Amazon.com, and through a yard sale to eliminate that road block. Once the money is available, I will have no more road blocks to successfully complete this Mt. Shasta goal! Easy peasy, right?!
Writing down our goals is the best way to secure our success. People who write out their goals are 10 times more likely to achieve them then people who don't write their goals. The trick is to learn HOW to write your goals. There are several great websites and programs that can help guide you with your goal setting. Personally, I think that it is worth investing some time into learning these concepts so that I don't flounder around for days, weeks, and years wondering why I can't ever reach any of my goals.
Right now, most of my goals require baby steps. I am relearning the HOW of goal setting and the ACTION part of moving toward these goals. I tend towards procrastination, something like paralysis of analysis...I can think and research something to death....and never, ever, ever accomplish a thing. Something I learned from my father, that has become more embedded in my mind since his untimely passing, is that the time we have will pass whether we are sitting on the couch doing *nothing* the same as it will pass if we are going somewhere or doing something. We can complain that working out will take a good hour out of your day but that hour will be gone regardless if you spend it watching to TV or doing an exercise DVD. The difference is in what you will have to show for that hour of your life.
I, for one, do not want to end up on my deathbed full of regrets. Regrets that I didn't take chances, that I let life slip by while I sat around watching everyone else's life move on, that I could have accomplished more if of only I had pushed myself, that I can't hit a reset button or have a do-over. It's now or never...and I am going with NOW!
Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.
- Thomas Jefferson