“People say they want to achieve things, but then don’t show up for the things that would help them get there. They want to be writers, but don’t show up at the word processor. They want to own a business, but they don’t show up for the educational seminar. They want to be actors, but then don’t show up for the audition”. – Lyman Reed
You never know how much time you have lost until you look at your list of goals five or ten years ago and see the dreams that you have left to waste. Think of heights you could have scaled, or achievements that you could have bagged had you done the things that you had set out today.
The other day my eleven year old son came across the list of personal goals that I had set for myself five years ago. He laughed loudly highlighting how I had failed dismally on two of the goals. I agreed. The truth of the matter was that though I have done well in the other six areas, I had hardly moved on these two key areas. I felt naked and vulnerable at this harsh reality.
But why was there no progress on these two goals? Truth be told I had just thrown them into my list as good ideas, maybe wishes or desires that I had but I did not create an action path to achieving them. I therefore did not do anything on them on a daily, weekly or monthly basis towards achieving them. The other problem was that the goals were quite ambitious and they probably scared me into putting them forward for the future. I procrastinated ladies and gentlemen. I slept on the job and I can imagine how much time I have lost since then. This year, I have redesigned these goals and I promise myself that I will not let up.
Its a good time to think of the goals that you have been setting every year and take time to interrogate what worked and what did not work. Not working may mean like me that you did not show up to do the work or you were not clear on what work you were to inject in. If the reason is the latter, then take time to break the goal down into monthly targets that you can work at achieving. Out of those monthly targets you can derive weekly and daily measurable things that you can do to get there. If your reason is the former, meaning that you have just been sleeping on the job, then use the small daily actions to motivate yourself on what is possible. If that is not good enough, then let the thought of five to ten years of not acting on that goal scare you. The regret that would come with the thought that ‘I squandered all that time and I have nothing to show myself and the world’ can weigh heavily on your heart. I am talking from experience. I am sure that you have your experiences too.
We also have an opportunity to learn from what has worked. How and why did it work? What did you do? Let those assist you grow and become better. Personal goals are just that. They are personal as we all invest at getting better in various spheres of our lives. Must we set them? No! No one obliges us to neither set nor work on them. But since human beings desire to grow and progress, it is a good idea to set personal goals and act on them. Ultimately we remain the true beneficiaries of our achievements and those
achievements in turn then inspire us and others to dream and yearn for more.
And yes, like Eliud Kipchoge, setting personal goals and achieving them teach us that, ” No human being is limited”.
Have a bountiful Year!