Numerous times in the past there have been speeches given and books written on the effectiveness of setting goals. Countless successful people have come before us and shown us how powerful they can be. I personally observed how effective the exercise of goal setting has been and witnessed the results from disciplined effort. After so much evidence in support of goal setting, one would think, this is an easy decision. Do it! But so many still won’t do it. There are plenty of reasons not to, but a person just needs a strong enough reason to set goals.
Necessity has caused people to do many things they may not have been able to accomplish otherwise. There is an enormous difference between “wanting to” versus “having to” do something. Need has a way of motivating in stronger ways than want does. Don’t get me wrong, both want and need have their place. But when you need, for instance something to eat, you’ll put away pride or ego to go out and do something you may not have done otherwise if the need weren’t so strong. Once you have basic needs met, there is a tendency to slack off. But that is the point where we should really be just getting started.
When setting goals, here is something to keep in mind. Good is the enemy of best. If you lower your standards one time, the tendency is to keep them there because we accept it from that point on. It could be argued that it was set low to be realistic, which is a valid point. For this reason, some goals must be revisited regularly to see if anything could be improved upon. Anything we do consistently we get better at. The degree to which we get better is heavily influenced by our abilities. But even the gifted need practice in order to remain on top of their game.
Part of me knows I can do more, which is the part that gets frustrated. The thought grew so strong during a recent time of reflection, that another thought jumped out at me. “You are failing because you think you have a choice!” I wasn’t thrilled with the idea because it obviously pointed out my shortcomings. But it was true, whether I liked it or not. It all boiled down to one of my favorite words. Discipline, or the lack thereof! I continually think I have a choice; therefore it shifts things from needs to wants. It is easier to sacrifice a want than it is a need.
Also in this time reflection, I’ve seen the importance of goal setting in accomplishing objectives. Having goals clearly defined was the first part. Writing them down helped me acknowledge them throughout the day. Tracking progress helped me stay motivated. Reflecting on my failure taught me to remember the reason I set goals in the first place. I have so many plans that I’d like to do with my life. Beyond myself, I want to do more for other people. Yet, there is a part of me that always lags behind. At times it feels like I am hauling dead weight. At the same time, I know change is always out there, not just for me, but for everyone.
Sometimes I talk to myself the way a drill sergeant would, loudly if necessary. If anyone hears me, it may sound a bit strange, and they may even think I am crazy. The crazy part isn’t that though. What is crazy, is not making the most of the life we’ve been given!