We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit....Aristotle
So it's over the mid-way mark of January, and it's crossed your mind that it might be a good idea to set some goals for this year. You know like, get in shape, eat healthier, look for a new job, watch less Netflix, be more creative, to name just a few. Perhaps you’ve made such lofty goals before, but with all your best intentions, inevitably by March, April or even February you find yourself back to your old ways. So why bother setting goals in the first place? What’s the point when you’re doomed to fail anyway, and lord knows, you don’t want to go down that road of self-sabotage again.
While a lot can be learned by failure, most people will avoid it at all costs, even if it means staying stagnant and indefinitely stuck. So 2017 passes by, nothing lost, nothing gained, and there you are….
But wait, could there be another way of approaching this whole goal setting thing that might lead to greater success, and avoiding failure altogether?
Goals have a greater chance to be achieved when they’re tied to an action, or what Aristotle referred to as habit. You very well might want to get in shape this year, but what does that mean in terms of action/habit?
Joe: To get in shape this year, I commit to exercising three days a week.
Jason: Pretty good, but even better if you make the action/habit even more concrete.
Joe: To get in shape this year, I commit to going for a five mile run three days a week.
Jason: What’s particularly useful about this action/habit based goal is that it’s measurable and you can monitor it in the course of a week, month or year. Remember Joe; creating new habits in your life takes practice, which entails staying with the process versus focusing on the outcome.
*Accountability can be another great way of monitoring your level of success, so find a friend, running buddy, therapist or even family member to share your 2017 goals.
One last thing is that failure is always a possibility, but not a necessarily a bad thing, because you can use it as a lesson in learning on your path to eventual personal growth/success.
I have not failed. I’ve found 10,000 ways that didn’t work….Thomas Edison