Unrealistic Goal Making

Why is it that whenever someone makes a goal it ends up being an earth shatteringly large one? For example: I typically oscillate between being a 5 times a week exerciser and being an epic couch potato. Whenever I’m in a fitness frame of mind I begin making exercise goals that end up snowballing into something along the lines of: “I will run a marathon by the end of the year”…Run a marathon by the end of the year? Are you kidding me? Get real people. I would be lucky to run a 5k. In my mind though since I’m setting a goal then all of a sudden I expect these miraculous outcomes.

Don’t take me the wrong way, I’m all for setting goals. Frankly, the goals I’ve been setting do manage to motivate me for about a week, which I suppose is better than nothing. The problem is that somewhere along the line I stopped setting realistic ones, and the motivation period becomes shorter and shorter as the expectation gets higher and higher. Maybe this is the product of growing up in the instant feedback era where waiting for results seems outdated, and the demand is maximum return for minimum if not no investment.

After thinking on this today, I realize that the best thing I can do for myself is to focus on setting small goals that focus on completing the first step of the task. What would our goals all look like if we were constantly focused on “what is the next action I need to take? Rather than “what is my end goal?” I have a hunch that we would get further towards living the lives we want to lead because our mindsets will be based on piece meal actions rather than abstract ends.

The way I see it now is that there should be no more grandiose New Years Eve style goals for me. I’m a step at a time gal now.

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