Goals can be a bad thing

A friend suggested I give myself A BREAK!!! Seems like such an easy, NICE, PERFECT idea, RIGHT?  Not for me some days… Most days… these days.

I have this NEED to improve myself, work on things, get things right, make progress, make better decisions, etc.  But I sometimes (ok BE HONEST – ALWAYS) set these INSANE goals… too lofty… too high… too difficult for almost ANYONE to achieve.

But that is what I was taught in Motivation and Leadership class in college.  That is what all the successful business people tell you to do.  Even the bible says that a wise man builds with a plan.  So everything I hear is about making plans, working harder, and setting goals.  Goal theory describes making goals DIFFICULT, SPECIFIC, and MEASUREABLE.  Difficult because you will push yourself beyond the comfortable to reach a higher level than if you just set an easy goal.  Specific because you can look at the details of your progress as you are making changes and taking action.  Measureable because if you can not see where you are in improvement by using some kind of measure then it is not motivational and you can’t say you ACCOMPLISHED or Failed.

If I look at my life in terms of grades (because that is a measurement, I understand at my deepest levels-having spent many many years in school), I would say I’m getting a C- or D+ on the food, exercise, and finances areas of my life.  I mean that is still passing; but BARELY.  And some how some way my psyche is expecting A or A+ on everything all the time.  Isn’t that how things are supposed to be done?  I try and try with gusto, passion, and good intentions… the results are supposed to be success and success with a perfect output.

I mean, come on, other people can do it.   Just look at all those sound bites we hear about the millionaires who worked and worked and is now successful.  Or the athlete that OVERNIGHT became this great amazing stupendous professional.  Or what about the person who just woke up one day and decided to exercise themselves to an amazing tiny size and POOF they did it.  Ok, Ok, OK I will fess up… most of those stories have some amount of failure, disappointment, or stagnation in the middle of the story before the GREAT GIANT AMAZING success.  But for some reason my mind doesn’t every HEAR that part of the story.  So I see myself as the below average non-achieving failure.  I ask myself: Why am I falling so far below the marker?  How come I can’t have instant or first time success like all these other people I have seen? 

You would think that I have some kind of logical approach to these areas in my life that are not easy.  That if I am not strong in this area, it’s not a strength for a reason.  It is going to take some training or retraining, maybe even some practice.  And by all means, I shouldn’t expect Perfection the first time, or two, or three DOZEN times, no matter how much I push or persuade or drive myself into some kind of evil, oppressive obedience (because as we all know that doesn’t work).

So this ties in beautifully with my post on the Re-Do button.  That I need to allow myself permission to mess things up.  I need to allow myself the grace to try and fail; to try and kinda fail; to try and almost not fail; and maybe then… JUST MAYBE to try and not fail so much.  I might actually make some progress to overcoming the weaknesses in my life… To making better decisions on my finances, food, exercise, and emotions.  I mean Rome wasn’t built in a day what makes me think a human can be changed in a year, or two or three for that matter.

So a BREAK it is… No judgement, no measurement, no goals right now… Just live, and laugh and BE… The goals will be there tomorrow.  I couldn’t bring myself to throw them away.

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