Why You Should Have Unimpressive Goals

Last week, I came to the conclusion that if I was going to help others, I would have to Help Myself First.  The plan was to create some new good habits, and to quit the old bad habits.  Sounds like a good idea.  Well, I was trolling my old blog, and found that I had come to the same realization just six short months ago.  I made a plan of action, which involved meditating, exercising, and free-writing for 10 minutes a day each, and let me tell you it was not successful.

What Went Wrong?

So, why did I fail?

  • The changes were too big
  • I took on too many habits at once
  • I didn’t commit to a certain time of day
  • I had no accountability
  • I did not have any reminders or habit triggers

So this time, I am committing to exercise vigorously for 2 minutes upon rising in the morning.  I will also be placing a little sign that says “Exercise” on the bathroom mirror (one of the first places I look in the morning).

It may seem unimpressive, but I would rather have a one humble goal that I can achieve than a hundred impressive goal that I will never accomplish.

(From “Do You Believe That?” on 4-10-14)

I have been reflecting lately, on the purpose and meaning in life. I have found that, no matter what you believe, the ultimate calling on our lives is to help others. There is nothing more fulfilling than positively impacting the life of another human. to give them something that they could not have attained on their own.

However, in order to effectively help others, I must first help myself. If my life is a wreck, and I have no direction, and no clue how to handle my own situations, how can I ever hope to benefit another person.  But how do I help myself?  I would say, the first step is to learn about myself.  In doing this, I will be learning about all human life, as we share the same desires, the same fears, the same ambitions, and the same needs.

In an effort to accomplish this, I have started three new habits: Meditation, Free-Writing, and Exercise. I plan to do each of these every day for 10 minutes a day, for at least the next month.

Meditation:

In our fast paced society, we do not often take time to sit quietly with ourselves, and just observe our own thoughts.  There is always something flashing, making noise, moving around.  We live in a world of constant distraction, and do not get the opportunity to just be.  Meditation is a great opportunity allow the world to simply turn underneath us, with no worries, being confident that, at least for now, the earth will take care of itself.

When I meditate, I do worry about perfect posture.  I simply sit in a relaxed position, and focus on my breathing.  I do not worry about emptying my mind.  If a thought enters my mind, I acknowledge it, let it go, and go back to my breathing.

Free Writing

I have found this to be very relaxing, and a big stress-reliever.  It releases any thoughts that have been weighing on my mind, and helps me to expound on ideas for projects and articles.  I hope this will help me to be able to express myself more freely and easily when I write, as well as helping me to learn more about who I am.

Exercise

In my search for self-awareness, I not only want to become more familiar with my mind, but also my body.  Exercising regularly will help build discipline, and help me to be aware of my physical body.  I have not started this habit yet, but when I do, I plan to keep it simple.  Running, walking, yoga, anything that will get me moving, and increase my physical self awareness.

Thanks for reading, folks.

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2 thoughts on “Why You Should Have Unimpressive Goals

  1. Hello!
    Thanks for visiting the TaoistQuotes blog. I love your openness about acknowledging that even with your best intentions it is challenging to change. Your observations also concur with what research into goals has revealed.
    When people make goals, the assumptions underlying the goals are often that:
    i) their individual mind believes that it has the total knowledge of what behaviors need to occur to change;
    ii) the mind believes that nothing is going to stop it from succeeding;
    iii) the mind has knowledge of other parts of the mind (including the ones that disagree with the part that wants to change);
    iv) the mind can reconcile the differences between these parts of the mind;
    v) the mind can predict the future – it has to know that it will succeed at following through with the goal;
    vi) the future will be linear, constant, and unchanging to the degree that events will support the person in doing the behaviors specified in the goal;
    vii) doing the behaviors is easy;
    viii) the mind will be able to navigate the emotions that arise when a person has feelings that are dissonant with following through so that the person DOES achieve their goal.

    Now, as I read this, I think to myself, “If I believe that all of this is true for me to succeed at a goal then I must be crazy!” And I have been crazy many, many times. And yet this is the approach that society tells us to take to achieve something and to change ourselves. The perspective outlined above is so out of touch with the changing nature of events around and within us that I question the sanity of society and science.

    Please write when your intuition prompts you to. Your words can reach out to others and help them to know that they are not alone :o)

    James

    • Thanks for the kind words! I definitely need a new approach when it comes to making lifestyle changes and achieving goals. For some reason, I continue to use methods that I know don’t work. I guess that’s part of being human.

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