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Archive for the ‘planning’ Tag

New YouTube Video   Leave a comment

Just a quick post to let you all know I’ve uploaded my second video blog to YouTube.  It’s about goals and goal setting.  Please give it a quick view.  The link is below.  Feel free to leave a like or a comment if you so desire.  Subscribe if you like the content and if you want to be notified each time I post ring the bell.

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Specificity   Leave a comment

One of the people I know loves to watch baseball.  Myself, I’m not a big fan of the sport, but I’ll watch it with her when she has it on.  She really gets into the game, including speaking to the television, encouraging her team on to greatness.  This led to a funny exchange the other day.

She was watching her team play and she said to the screen, “Ok, we need a hit here.”  After a few pitches the player hit the ball, right into an out.  She wasn’t happy about it and wondered what had just happened.  I said, “he did what you asked.”  She looked at me with an incredulous look.  “You asked for a hit and he did hit the ball.  You never specified what kind of hit you wanted.  Details matter.”  She looked at the screen and said “Ok, I want a home run.”  Sure enough, when the next player finally connected with the ball, he knocked it out of the park for a home run.  She looked over at me with amazement and I just repeated, “details matter.”

Now, I’m not claiming that she caused the home run.  I do believe in the law of attraction, but I doubt this was a case of it working.  I think it was more just a funny coincidence.  But it’s a funny coincidence that makes a great point.  Specificity in direction is important.  Details do indeed matter in life.  This is especially true in goal setting.  The more specific you are about your goal the better the chance you’ll realize it.  There are a number of reasons why this is true.

First, it really isn’t a meaningful goal if it isn’t a specific one.  Think about it.  How accomplished will you really feel if your goal today is to exercise?  It’s a very vague goal.  Pick up a semi heavy object and put it back down and you’ve essentially reached your goal.  Move ten feet farther than you needed to today to achieve your to do list and you’d have hit the goal as well.  But will you feel any sense of accomplishment meeting those benchmarks?  Probably not.  Now set the goal “I’m going to go on a 15 minute walk.”  That’s substantially more specific then “I’ll exercise today.”  It specifies not just that you’ll exercise but also what kind and for how long.  When you go out for that walk and return 15 minutes later you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment because you met a specific goal.  How strong a sense of course will depend on how much your goal pushes you to achieve it.  If you can easily walk 15 minutes then it’ll be a small sense of accomplishment.  If you’re just starting out and live most of your life sitting down, you’ll feel a great sense of accomplishment.

Second, details make it measurable.  “I’m going to make more money” is vague.  If I walk down the street and find a penny I’ve reached my goal.  I have more money then I did before.  I can stop trying now.  “I’m going to earn enough money to buy a ticket to go visit my friends in Alaska” is specific.  That penny I just found won’t cut it.  I could find a penny every day for a year and I wouldn’t even be able to buy a snack on the plane, let alone the ticket.  So I haven’t reached the measurement yet.  I need to keep going to reach my goal.  The goal posts are in a very specific location so I know how long to keep working at it.

Finally, to create a specific goal you’ll be required to think about it.  Using the first example, when creating an exercise goal you need to consider many factors.  What kind of fitness level are you trying to achieve?  Are you more interested in muscles or endurance?  Are you looking for fast results or do you have time to achieve your goal?  By considering all these factors you’re creating goals that are more relevant to you.  The more relevant the goal is to you the more likely you’ll achieve it.

You’re also going to create more reasonable goals when you think about them.  Using the second example, if you want to go visit your friends in Alaska you also have to consider different factors.  How will you get there?  Buses will get you there but will take days.  So flying would seem more reasonable.  How will you fly there?  Private charter would be really cool, but if you’re saving for the trip in the first place, it probably isn’t very reasonable.  First class tickets might be a bridge too far as well.  So now you’ve considered your options and your goal is to buy an economy ticket on a commercial airline by saving your money where you can.  That’s a very reasonable goal.  The more reasonable your goal is, the more you’ll believe in your ability to carry it out.  When you create unreasonable goals your subconscious knows you don’t stand a chance of making it and will sabotage every effort you make toward the goal.

So as you move forward into the future setting goals on how to improve your life, make them specific, measurable, and reasonable.  Give yourself every chance to succeed and you will.  Set yourself up for failure, and you’ll easily reach that goal too.  Me, I’m partial to hitting home runs.  Have a great day.

The Blame Game   Leave a comment

I mentioned a few posts back that I went on a trip to Bellingham, WA.  I live in Alabama so I had to fly to get there and back.  As I was proceeding to check in for the flight home, a guy came running into the airport and ran straight up to the counter.  He stated he was on a flight that was about to leave.  The woman at the counter asked which flight, and when he told her, she stated the flight was already closed and she couldn’t check him in now.  He stated that he had to get on that flight, he just had to.  She told him there was nothing she could do about it.  He complained that she was being unreasonable and she reminded him that he was supposed to arrive at the airport two hours early for his flight.

Frustrated, the guy tried to explain the situation to her.  His alarm didn’t go off that morning so he got a late start.  He drove to the border as fast as he could but the traffic was heavier than expected and moved at a snail’s pace.  When he got to the US/Canadian border, there was a back up because Customs was going so slow.  He had done everything he could to get there on time but life had just conspired against him.  He wasn’t to blame.  Couldn’t she just help him out?

We all play the blame game.  Nobody wants to admit that they’re at fault.  It’s an ego thing.  If we admit fault we are admitting there’s something wrong with us.  We erred. And that can’t be right.

So we assign the blame to others.  Or we assign it to situations completely beyond our control.  Like the guy at the airport.  He’d made a good faith effort to be there on time but a series of cascading delays befell him.  He can’t be held accountable for that, can he?

It is true that there are events over which you’ll have no control.  You might be smitten by someone, but you can’t make them return the feeling.  You can take perfect care of your vehicle and then a defective part can sideline it.  You say or do something with one intention, but can’t control how others will interpret it. I get that.

The problem with the blame game is it cedes control to factors outside of us.  If the problem exists outside of us there’s nothing we can do to change it.  And there’s always something we can do.  After all, you at least have control over how you react to a situation.

But it’s easier to blame circumstances beyond our control.  That way we can never be at fault.  You can’t blame me for the traffic or the border.  I don’t control those.  There’s a problem with nothing ever being your fault though.  It means you’re admitting ALL circumstances are beyond your control.

You’re a passenger in your life, not the captain.  You have no determination in the events in your life.  If every time something bad happens to you, you’re powerless to stop it then you have no control, period.

Now you’re probably saying to yourself “I still make decisions.  And all the great things I’ve accomplished were my doing.  I can take credit for them.”  Even if that’s true, when you’re powerless to stop the bad things from happening, at any moment something bad can take away all that good you did.  And by your own admission, it’s out of your control and you can’t stop it.

To be able to stop it you’d have to take ownership.  Admit that there were factors in your control.  Take the guy at the airport for example.  He could take ownership of the fact that he didn’t have a back up alarm, just in case.  Or he could take owernship of the fact that both average traffic wait times, and border wait times, are available for searching on the internet.  He could take ownership of the fact that if the flight was so important he could have decided to cross the border way earlier then he needed to.  It may have run the risk of making him wait way longer for the flight, but it would have lessened the risk of being late.  All of that was under his control

So I guess it’s up for you to decide what kind of life you want.  Do you want to be the person who is dragged through life by Fate?  No real say in how things will turn out.  No real hope because you know it’s all out of your control.  Or do you want to be the Captain of your ship?  Your hand firmly on the rudder of your life.  Focused on ownership and personal responsibility.  The true creator of the best version of yourself.  Make your choice, and accept the life that comes with it.  Have a great day.