Setting personal goals for myself isn’t something that I’ve ever been fond of. Professionally, my responsibilities are task oriented and due date driven. I have no problem meeting deadlines and accomplishing my duties. However, personal goals seem to elude me. It’s taken a while, and I’m now understanding that, like pursuing anything worthwhile, it takes practice and repetitiveness (and so much more).
Like a lot of people I know, I set goals each New Year. I used to forget the goals and go right back to my habits soon after the novelty of setting goals wore off. The last few years have been different for me and I’ve not only remembered goals, but worked throughout the year to accomplish a lot of them. It does require a lot of work, but it’s a great feeling making progress towards something that I want to achieve.
This year, I had set a goal to do ‘more push-ups’. I thought it was a worthy goal; push-ups are good for me. And, since this new year started, I have indeed done more push-ups. However, I didn’t have consistency about doing them. Soon after I started my goal, I found myself making excuses for why I didn’t need to do them that day. I had started out doing push-ups every day, then it started to slip out to every other day, then by the time two months had passed, I was doing push-ups about once a week. I was still accomplishing the ‘more’ part of the goal, but I didn’t feel like was making true progress. My goal had become a nuisance.
I realized that I had not been specific in setting my goals. The non-quantitative and the impossible-to-measure ‘more’ stipulation didn’t actually contribute to my success; it hurt my success. I didn’t set any way to measure ‘more’ to show my progress, or to hold myself accountable. As a result, my worthy goal turned into a chore that I really didn’t feel like doing.
I was reminded of a section from Seven Steps to Inner Power where Dr. Kim discusses having a “Determination and a Quality Purpose.” In a nutshell, being able to accomplish change in life or a goal, the objective itself must be clear. Dr. Kim writes, “Focus as specifically as possible on what you want to accomplish.” When we want to buy a car, we get very specific about the details: make, model, color, accessories, etc. “The greater goals in your life deserve as much care, don’t they? Be specific!”
So, my updated, specific goal is to do 10 slow and low push-ups every night. I’ve defined the goal in a way that contributes to my success: specifying the quantity/quality/frequency, allows me to know what I need to do. Now, I can build on my goal and add quantity as I build up strength. I can measure myself against a reliable measurement and feel proud of what I’m accomplishing.
And, quite importantly, I’ve shown myself that I can set and accomplish personal goals. Whatever was holding me back, was just an excuse.
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