I love goals. I enjoy talking about goals with people, helping people I don’t even know set goals, reading about other people’s goals, and setting goals for myself. I took an entire course while pursuing a graduate degree called “Motivating Healthy Behaviors”. I cringe when I hear someone make a general goal, because the SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely) goal system has been so engrained into my brain. You might say I am obsessed with goals and if I know you then have probably annoyed you by talking about them too much a time or two.
While studying the science behind changing individual’s behaviors, I decided I would start testing the theories on my very own lab rat, Kevin. Unfortunately, he is quite smarter than a lab rat and caught on to my antics all too quickly. I probably kept this going for a good two years though. I was frequently trying to convince him that goals are great, and he should be as excited about them as I was. You know what I learned? You can’t force someone to create a goal or even care about goals for that matter. Yes, I did also learn that concept in school, but I refused to believe it until I had first hand experience. I just couldn’t fathom that people could be perfectly happy not setting goals. However, it is totally possible and completely OK.
This revelation did not change my obsession with goals though. I still frequently set them, but, like other aspects in my life, I am learning how to balance goals and life. Sometimes I get too excited and take on more goals than I can handle, which I know is a recipe for failure. I’ve learned that I just have to take it slow, be flexible and satisfied with small accomplishments. Because it’s the small, consistent accomplishments over time that really make a difference.
Mondays always seems like a fresh start to me and a great time to check in on my goals. I have always been a morning person, but moving back to Northern California and experiencing winter again has made it harder for me to rise before the sun. I love the mornings though and always seem to have a better morning when I do get up earlier. Unfortunately, it’s so easy to forget about that when it’s freezing and dark outside, but warm and cozy in bed. Last week I set a goal to wake up before 6:20am Monday-Friday. If I meet the goal, then I get to splurge on a fancy cappuccino during the following week (don’t forget that positive reinforcement!). Did I wake-up before 6:20am Monday-Friday last week? Nope, but my body needed and enjoyed that extra rest on Thursday morning. Alas, I will be drinking black coffee this week. However, this week is a new opportunity to work towards this goal. Hopefully this warmer weather will help me out, and I will be sippin’ on a velvety smooth cappuccino next week.
Do you like setting goals weekly, monthly, whenever? I’d love to hear about any goals you are working towards! Don’t like goals? I’d love to hear about that too!