Refuse to be Passive

When Goals Become Useless

In Life in General on April 7, 2010 at 9:43 am

It’s good to have goals. Everybody has goals, whether it’s planning for a vacation, or just getting through your day. But goals are nothing without a plan of how you’re going to get there. For a vacation, you typically begin squirreling away money and saving up vacation time. For getting through your day, maybe it means a cup of coffee to keep you moving. But there are areas of life where people often make goals without setting out a clear road of how they’re going to make it to their destination. That’s like thinking, I’m going to drive to Orlando (where I’ve never been) and then hopping in the car and taking off. No plans, no maps, no idea where you’ll stay, and no luggage. While that sounds fine at first, after a while you get really frustrated when you find out your forgot your toothbrush and you left your passport at home, so you can’t even get over the boarder. And what about when you hit that wicked rain storm and have to stay in your parked car for six hours until it passes, because you only have the clothes on your back and don’t want them to get wet. At that point you’d be cursing yourself. Or even better, what if you got turned around one night and actually started heading home, undoing all the travel progress you’d made during the day. Whoops. Plans are important—they help give direction and keep us from getting lost.

My goal for the past couple of years has been moving towards living a healthier lifestyle. That’s a great goal, but it encompasses a lot, and without a plan of how to get there, it’s really not much more than a nice idea. So I broke that down into: I have to eat better, I have to get more exercise. I have to stop buying products that harm the earth and fill up the landfill. Delightful. But once again, too vague. For the past two years, too vague, has been the theme of my move to a healthier lifestyle. Starting today, I’m going to make a specific plan of how to reach these goals, and set short term goals that will lead to the long term goals. I’ll give myself tangible things I can do to make it to my goals. And then I’ll go from there.

Change sticks the best when it’s small changes that come gradually. We live in an instant gratification society, and this will not be instant gratification. But at least I’ll know I’m working towards my goals and that this time, I will make it.

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  1. The results of goals are fun! My arms actually look pretty buff from my goal to exercise them almost every day (90 fem push-ups in sets of 30, rawr!). It’s worth it.

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