My last post I wrote my fitness goals and I got some pretty interesting responses. Cheryl, of Geek Girl USA responded with “awe man . . . now I really HAVE to set some goals.” Her response made me think she’s got some goals in the back of her mind just waiting to be met, and she just hasn’t taken those first steps to make them happen (Cheryl, please correct me if I’m wrong in the comments ).
My guess is, this is a similar situation for a lot of people. Actually setting a goal means you have to put some effort into achieving them, so it’s really easier just to not set them in the first place. On the other hand, I don’t think so much is the work or effort that people fear, as it is the idea that they might not meet their goals. If we set a goal and don’t meet it, we equate this to failure.
I’ll just disqualify that right now by saying, just because you didn’t meet your goal the first time you tried, doesn’t mean you won’t ever meet it. This is the third time I’ve trained for a marathon. The first two times, I only made it to 6 miles and 14 miles, respectively, before I had to stop because of physical problems (herniated disc and broken ankle, respectively). Now, I haven’t run the full marathon yet, but I’ve ran 22 miles in my training, which is a lot further than I achieved the first two times.
For those of you who have things you would like to achieve, but have allowed them to sit on the back shelf in a dark corner of your mind somewhere, I’m going to give you two things you can do right now to get started on those things without actually committing to those goals. Neither one of these things require you to voice your goal. Yet. These are for preparation only.
Do you think you can’t do it?
Maybe one of the reasons you haven’t put that goal into place is because you think you can’t do it. Maybe your reasons for “can’t” are because of time limitations, money limitations, past failures, or lack of skill. You think of the reasons you can’t do them, and put that goal back on the shelf. Here’s my suggestion to you: turn your thinking around. Instead of thinking why you can’t do something, start thinking of why you CAN.
Do it! You can write it in a list, think of it quietly or speak them out loud, but start doing this. In other words, play “devil’s advocate” to yourself. It’s problem solving, people, by making yourself think of why or how you CAN do something, that logical side of your brain will have a heyday with this!
Think also of someone you love. If they came to you with their goal or dream, and asked you how they might be able to achieve it, you would get to work trying to help them figure out ways that they could achieve that thing. Do this same thing for yourself. You deserve it.
Undoubtedly, you won’t be able to do all of your goal right now, or you won’t be able to do it as well as you like, but that’s not what I’m asking you to do. When you start thinking of how you can do something, you should only be thinking of how you can begin to do something. This action item (change your thinking to “I can”) does not require you to commit to anything yet. It only is meant to get you thinking differently about that thing and the potential of you being able to do it.
Where’s your inspiration?
Here’s the second action item. Find inspiration for doing that thing. But don’t just find one source of inspiration. Find MANY sources. LOOK for it. SEEK it out in your daily life. And create a collection of these things. Maybe they are online stories of other people who have done the same thing or something similar. Create a document with links to these stories. Maybe they are images. Create a Pinterest account and start pinning things on a board that’s titled “inspiration for my goal” or whatever title you find fits. Hang pictures up in your office. Keep a box filled with little reminders. Whatever way you choose to collect these sources of inspiration, do so.
Here’s the thing. You don’t have to go out of your way to find these sources of inspiration if you are willing to open your ears, your eyes, and your heart to everything in your day. Be observant and start thinking about how what you hear, see and feel are connected in some way to your goal.
Again, this is not an action item that requires you to commit to anything yet. It’s just inspiration awareness.
So, what do you think?
I think I made this pretty darn simple (as I pat myself on the back). What do you think? Might you do this?
**Treasure chest image by timtom.ch on Flickr. Used by creative commons license.