I am missing my archery days. I loved getting out there in nature, hanging out with some really cool women, and doing something that I wasn’t too bad at. This morning I was thinking about how much practice I put into this. It made me think of how I’ve changed my mindset and language when it comes to setting goals.
It used to be that when I set a goal I was already set up to fail because it wasn’t a realistic goal. I had something I wanted and I would put it on a sticky note or write it on the family calendar and I would constantly look at it and think of how far away I was. As time drew closer to the goal, I would fall even further behind. Eventually I just erased the goal from the whiteboard or threw away the sticky note. It always seemed to be an uphill battle for me.
Then I went through a phase where I would set goals with specifics, because all the “experts” said that would help your mindset in seeing the path to get there. So I’d set specific goals with a plan. “I’m going to loose 20 pounds this month by only eating green foods” but I would set the goal at a ridiculous time, like during the holidays. Again, an unrealistic goal.
Then it became a micromanaged goal setting strategy. Creating a goal and having a minute by minute, what I need to do structure. If I could just discipline myself to do exactly what I needed to then I would succeed. Unrealistic…again. As a wife, mom, and business owner my life doesn’t get to run on a minute by minute schedule. I’m lucky if it runs on a day by day schedule!
Through all of these different goal setting strategies, two things stayed the same. #1-the goal never changed. #2-my mindset was always focused on failure.
How did I shift that? How is it that I’m reaching my goals and not putting the pressure and expectations on myself? It was as simple as my mindset. I realized I have an infinite number of arrows to shoot at my goal. Some days I’m dead on. Other days, not so much. But on those off days, I’m still shooting at my target.
Another great shift was my language. A goal is not a promise. I have heard this over and over again since November. My language about goals was more of a definition of a promise. And we all learn as we grow up that broken promises cause disappointment, sadness, and heartache.
A goal is not a promise, it is a target. You start shooting at your target from 20 feet away, then 50 feet, then 100 feet… Once you can hit dead center 80% of the time, move your target. Make it a little more difficult. Add some challenge to your aim. Do that over and over again. Make your target realistic but not easy. Shoot for dead center but celebrate if you hit the center ring.
I’m hoping to get back out there and start shooting again. For now, I will set my targets in my mind and keep aiming.