Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Goal Setting

As the clock winds down on the year that is I am starting to reflect on the year that was, and the one that will be. This year has been one of growth for me.  And I feel like in a number of areas of my personal understanding I took some steps that will affect my life for years to come.  The chief exercise that I did this year was goal setting.  I thought I had a pretty good understanding of goal setting before, but this year has helped me understand it even more. I'd like to share what I've learned with you.  I could only hope that you and I will far exceed our goals in the year to come.  Here is the first of three observations I'd like to share with you about my goal setting in 2012:

1.  I set ridiculous goals at the beginning of 2012. 

I knew that I wanted to grow in 2012, and I knew that if I didn't plan for it, it wouldn't happen.  So I sat down with my journal and listed a wish list of things I wanted to happen.  The list included nine things that mainly focused on projects that I wanted to do around the house.  Things that had gotten put off because I hadn't had time or money to do them.  And a health goal - a ridiculous health goal- of losing 100 lbs. It was especially ridiculous because I'm pretty sure I went to McDonald's the morning I wrote these goals and ate a couple McMuffins, a hash brown, and washed it down with a medium coke.  Come to think of it, I'm pretty sure that's what I had the morning after writing this goal. 

There was nothing magical about the list, although this list of ridiculous goals became a springboard for one of the most exciting years of my life.  It wasn't until 3 months after the new year, on a day that I wasn't thinking about goals or personal growth, that I happened to flip onto that page in my journal.  Seeing that a quarter of the year was gone and I had made no progress whatsoever on any of the goals I decided I needed to get started, and I'd have to start with me.  At the time I weighed at least 354 lbs. That is the weight that my doctor has on file, though I believe I was probably a bit heavier.  My scales at home could no longer accurately record my weight, so I'm not exactly sure. 

I started a weight loss journey, learned about the little parts of big goals, and reached a milestone by running my first 5k race in November.  All because I chose to write down some ridiculous goals, and then added discipline to try and reach them.

Principles in play:
  • Goals need to be written down.
  • Goals are only vehicles to move us toward where we want to go if we get in and drive them.
  • Goals are not magical.
  • The Goals I wrote were ridiculous.
I'll share the next observation in my next post.

--Ben

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