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Whatever it takes

If you want to accomplish any goal, consider these three questions:
#1 How important is this goal to you?
#2 Do you really think you can do it?
#3 Are you committed to doing what it takes?
If the answer to #3 is no, revisit #1 and #2.
To really benefit from the first question, write about it.
Write down all the reasons you have for wanting to do this.

Be completely honest and don’t leave anything out just because it’s not a “good” reason. It is very important that you do this in writing, because then you can refer to your reasons repeatedly throughout your quest for this goal.

The second question is more complicated than it looks, because everyone has doubts, and your confidence level fluctuates quite a bit throughout your life, even throughout your day. It is so crucial that you give this question some thought though, because if you don’t believe you can accomplish your goal, one thought will keep undermining every attempt you make – “Why bother?” If you DO truly believe that you will accomplish your goal, every mistake or setback is seen as a valuable learning experience, as much a part of the process as the intermediate successes. This difference of perspective may be the single largest factor in why some goals are reached and others aren’t.

If you have a list of reasons for wanting to reach your goal, and you believe you can do it, then ask yourself if you are going to do what it takes. Make yourself a promise, again in writing, that you will do this thing. This commitment you make to yourself will keep you going. Refer to it and your reasons from question #1 often.

It is very hard to ignore good advice when you keep reading it again and again, especially if you wrote it! Make reviewing this promise part of your daily routine. Put the tremendous powers of suggestion and habit to work for you.

What you want

I don’t believe in the power of attraction, but I do believe it works. Being clear on what you want makes it far more likely that you will receive it. There is so much help available. So many people are pursuing the same goal. Pursuing it together will dramatically improve your odds of success. Being clear on what you want will cause you to recognize the help when it crosses your path, and it will motivate you to seek it out. It’s not about quantum physics. It’s about people helping each other.

https://gettheeasyonesright.home.blog/2019/10/30/example-post/

Momentum

A challenging goal can be overwhelming. Some days even a short to do list can be overwhelming. Sometimes it helps to remember that just getting started and getting that first tiny thing accomplished can ease that feeling of being overwhelmed. It can add a little hope and confidence into the emotional stew. It can make the next step much, much easier. And so on and so on and so on.

https://www.google.com/search?q=make+your+bed+speech&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&hl=en-us&client=safari#kpvalbx=_BiRpYISrC8fj_Ab4gp6gDA7

Self-acceptance

A lot of goals have to do with self-improvement. Very often a necessary prerequisite to these goals is self-acceptance.

I started listening to this audiobook with a free trial of amazon’s audible service several months ago. I listen to a little bit of it almost every day. It is fascinating to me. I hope you give it a chance and find it useful.

https://www.amazon.com/Greater-Than-Sum-of-Our-Parts-audiobook/dp/B07D4NN3VN

Persistence

Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.

⁃ Calvin Coolidge

I’m going to let you in on a little secret. This blog is not for you. It’s for me. I have a few goals I am focused on lately, and thinking about and writing about some strategies that have worked for me before is helping me make very steady progress towards my current goals.

The three goals I have in mind as I write this blog are all personal. I have other goals, but the ones I’d like to share are all just for myself.

1. I’d like to lose a few pounds and get down to a BMI of 25.0

2. I’d like to pay off the remainder of my unsecured debt.

3. I’d like this blog to be successful.

These are all goals I have attempted in the past, but i have never stuck with them long enough to be successful. This time is very different.

I answered the questions in my very first post from 10/30/19 (https://gettheeasyonesright.home.blog/2019/10/30/example-post/) for each of these goals. They are very important to me, I believe that by applying lessons learned I will be able to achieve them, and I am willing to do what it takes. I was also able to answer the fourth question (https://gettheeasyonesright.home.blog/2019/11/22/the-fourth-question/) with a “yes” – I do deserve to reach these goals. I’m done putting limits on myself.

I want to share my thoughts on each of these. My first goal is significant in how I defined it. Whenever i have set a weight loss goal before, it has been in terms of pounds. Setting it in terms of BMI reminds me repeatedly of the health benefits of slimming down. This is a big motivator for me.

Eliminating my remaining unsecured debt will help me attain every other financial goal I can imagine, and even some that I have yet to imagine. It will give me an enormous sense of accomplishment and peace of mind.

The success of this blog is important to me, but it is the least clearly defined of my three personal goals. For now I consider it a success if (1) it attracts readers (which it does), and (2) I enjoy posting (which I do).

Thank you for reading and good luck making progress toward your goals.

Writing resources

1. I just came across this, from best-selling author Rick Riordan:

Advice For Writers

The fourth section, “How can I improve my writing?”, is so concise and informative that I had to share. I think Word can probably scan for some of the examples he mentions. I need to research.

2. The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron

I read this book a while back on the recommendation of my therapist, but I didn’t buy it at the time. I just ordered it for myself. Being reminded of a goal, dream, or vision that you once had for yourself is like finding a light switch in a dark room.

3. Elements of Style by Strunk and White

I took a writing course at the University of Rhode Island in the late 80’s and the professor Richard Walton recommended this book. That building is no longer there. Professor Walton passed away in 2012. But I’ll never forget that experience. It is time to read this book again.

Fun

My daughter and niece are on the same basketball team. Last week during their game I took my son and my other niece to the far end of the complex to an empty field with artificial turf that is used for soccer, flag football, and baseball practice. We each took turns playing goalie while the other two shot at the soccer net with an invisible ball. We found a flag football belt someone had left behind and took turns trying to run the length of the field carrying an invisible football while the other two tried to pull the flags.

There are no scoreboards in invisible ball flag football. There are no statistics or cheering fans for invisible ball soccer. There are no trophies in tag. There are no college scholarships. But we had a lot of fun. I consider it time well-spent.

Stress case

Choosing goals is really important. If we choose a goal that we don’t really want, that we are only choosing to get someone else’s approval, we can end up very unhappy.

My daughter just finished her first trimester in middle school, and she made high honors – she got A’s in all her classes. I am very proud of her, but I am also concerned, because I’ve heard her talk about school and grades and I know she feels a lot of pressure to do well. Academic success is expected at her school, which has its upside and downside. It is not at all uncommon for a kid in such an environment to get overly stressed which can actually hurt performance. Anxiety may be a good motivator, but it can make concentration difficult.

My son is in fourth grade, and he does not have the same drive to get A’s. With him I have a different message. I encourage him to try a little harder, because he is bright and because doing well in school will give him options when he is older, and options are nice to have. I left it at that for now. And I told them both that I love them no matter what, which is my most important job as parent.

I am deliberate in choosing my own goals as well. I have a Garmin watch (Forerunner 45) that keeps track of the steps I take each day, and whether or not I reached my daily goal. It’s a nice feature and a good motivator for me, but I just discovered something yesterday. I can set the goal myself to a fixed amount. Prior to yesterday, the goal would automatically re-calculate based on my recent performance. If I kept reaching the goal, the goal kept increasing. That, to me, was a de-motivator. I’ll increase the goal myself, if I see that I am hitting the current goal consistently, but I will pick a new goal that is achievable. I will pick a goal that requires effort to reach, but not one that I can only reach by neglecting other important aspects of my life. I am not going to let an algorithm in a fitness tracker determine how I spend my time. Time is a finite and precious resource, and I choose to spend it pursuing goals that are meaningful to me.

Starting over

I went jogging this morning for about 20 minutes. I can’t remember the last time. It was cold and windy and I was exhausted because I haven’t been sleeping well. My pace was very slow. It reminded me of the time a friend said he saw me jogging in town, or maybe walking. Yeah, I said, sometimes it’s hard to tell.

Starting over is hard. Starting slow is sometimes all I can do. But I’m glad I went. Next time will be easier.