I want to finish school. I want to lose weight. I want to work for the airlines. I want… the list is endless.
There’s nothing wrong with aiming for something and setting goals. As a matter of fact, they are important in that they give us something to look forward to. Further, goal-setting should not only be realistic, there should also be a timeframe.
I always say that without any deadlines, goals are irrelevant. This is because achieving demands some degree of commitment and determination. So for this article, I would like to talk about goal-setting.
What are goals?
Unlike dreams, goals are realistic. They are life targets that we know we are capable of achieving given our current resources and limitations. They are targets that, given time, provide us with an inspiration to start working. We do not have to have the resources at this time, but because we have a goal, then finding these resources become part of the preparation.
I’d say start small. Aim high, but take things one step at a time because you don’t want to overwhelm yourself. For example, here’s my goal assignment for today: I want to eat healthier.
Next step, we identify the problems that pose a danger to achieving.
I have a love affair with rice. There. How can I possibly become healthier when I could not live without rice? I love carbs. Sweet potatoes, sweet buns, anything baked and Chinese. I may not be fond of pasta, but I love chow mien. It’s the same banana. So yes, that reminds me, I love burro bananas. The worst thing? I like them fried or cooked and sweetened in sugar!
This really is not a very good time to talk about eating carbs and sugar considering that the Christmas season is coming and we can already foresee endless parties and gatherings and tables laden with food. So what do we do, we put off our goals for next year. “Oh, I think I should just start in January!”
You’re right. That’s me.
Second problem: I do most of the cooking at home so I have to go through the pain of smelling the aroma from the kettle before table is set. Then I’d see my plate with lots of vegetables and one very small piece of meat and maybe about three tablespoons of rice and my kids would say, ‘Wow! That’s amazing, Mom! You’re finally doing it! You’re finally not getting a lot of rice!’ I go, “Well, yes. I’ve been eating in advance before this plateful.”
Next step: The deadline. This is the most challenging of all because this is like an axe looming above my head. Its feet away from my head but its coming!
For this particular goal, I am giving myself a year. I want to start eating healthy and before 2016 ends, I should be back to at most 120 lbs. Oh yes, right! I think that at 132 pounds this is easy, but gauging from about five years of struggling with my goal, 12 pounds is so very hard to shed!
Conclusion: At the end of the day, our main goal is to be happy and satisfied with what we have. So, if we are not content, then we should start working on our issues while keeping our goals in front, like a dart board, with one dart in our hand. Whatever happens, however difficult, we will aim for that bull’s eye. That’s my goal for 2016 and here’s my goal-setting path:
1. Identify my problems and solve them: I love rice and sweet carbs.
2. Solution: Cut down on rice and sweet carbs (yes, I can’t be too hard on myself. I will still eat some rice and sweet carbs! Come one, it’s Christmas!) Be more active. I will set aside at least one day a week for dance – at least 30 minutes. How do I achieve this given my toxic schedule? Refer to number 1.
3. Deadline: August 2016. That’s my birth month. I should be able to wear my clothes from five years ago by August 2016. (Yes, I still keep my old clothes. In fact, I have clothes from probably even fifteen years ago because I have always had this feeling that one day, I could wear them again!)
Sounds like a plan? Indeed it does. What’s yours?
Let’s begin today.