Goalsetting and I have had a tumultuous relationship. I used to set goals every week, but then realized that that was a lot, so I backed that down to monthly. Then I tried to set BIG ass goals, which ended up scaring me more than motivating me. But I know its pretty much impossible to succeed without goals, so I am giving it a try again.
But I have kinda changed how I think about goals. Goals for me used to be benchmarks for success. Something I would shoot for, but if I didn't make it, eh no big deal. I would reward meeting my goals, but the only consequence of not meeting them was disappointment. It wasn't until I came across Chris Powell's book and Heidi Powell's blog post about promises in lieu of goals that I started understanding what years of goal setting without goal accomplishing was doing to me.
I would set goals I felt like I would "like to" accomplish, but not really ones that I was determined to accomplish. Lets use running a half marathon for example. When I set that goal, it was something I wanted to accomplish, but not something I actually believed I could do. I went through the motions, ran more than I ever had, but I never truly believed I would or COULD do it. My entire training was filled with self doubt, which ultimately lead to my epic failure.
Setting these kinds of goals, and failing, lead to me believing that I couldn't accomplish anything. I didn't trust myself and I didn't believe in myself. I love that Heidi emphasizes building trust in yourself and building integrity. By setting goals I never accomplished, I was proving to myself that I was unreliable, untrustworthy and had no real integrity. I had no idea, but she is totally right. I knew that by not reaching my goals I was disappointed in myself, but I didn't realize how much it affected my ability to stick to my goals in the future. My word to myself had come to mean less than nothing.
So my goal for the next 3 months is to rebuild that trust in myself. To make promises to myself and keep them. My first promise was to track my food. I made that promise 10 days ago and I have tracked my food, for better or for worse, every day for the last 10 days. I promise to track my food every day in October. I don't want to set myself up for failure, so I will only commit to short term goals. I also promise to follow my workout schedule this week. I don't even want to worry about next week yet at this point. And I promise to drink 120 ounces of water a day in October. I know these sound like easy goals, but I need to prove to myself that when I say I am going to do something, I do it. I need to build trust in myself to work up to larger goals.
If you have a hard time sticking to your goals, and feel like you are just spinning your wheels, check out that post and see if it resonates with you like it has me.