When I’m talking about “finding the gray area” for realistic goal setting, I’m not referring to hair—although I have to admit, I’m due for a colour. But honestly, when we set goals, we tend to think in terms of black and white.
We want to be thin, we want to look better, we want to have more money. So in response to these perfectionist targets, we set goals to help us become the complete opposite of who we are now. Achieving anything less than these unrealistic milestones means we’re a complete failure.
New Year’s resolutions have always been something I’ve found humour in, rather than taken seriously. Now 2012 is here and I know that many people have already abandoned their goals. Stop. Let’s start over and put our goal setting on-the-right-track!
At this point in the year, the gyms are already seeing fewer of those New Year’s resolution exercisers, and the vegetable aisle isn’t as busy at the grocery store, either.
Some of us have already fallen flat, right out of the gate, thinking that we have a good eleven months before we have to worry about goal setting again.
Others may have fought the good fight, but are mentally drained from trying to achieve those difficult goals they set for themselves. Though this cycle of setting goals and failing at them may seem amusing when viewed in a comical light, the truth is that some of these areas of our lives actually do need improvement, for our physical, mental or financial health.
So let’s write some realistic goals for 2012.
Before you even begin thinking about changing any area of your life, take that pen and paper and make three columns labeled black, white and gray.
Now you’re ready to get started. Let’s take a popular one, “losing weight.” In the black column you are going to put “overweight.” In the white column you are going to put “healthy weight.” Now we’re going to set goals that are actually based in reality, smack dab in the gray column.
Maybe your first goal will be to walk during each break at work. When that step is achieved, your next one might be to stop eating after 8 p.m. Next in line, packing healthy foods for lunch… and so on.
Or, let’s say you want to find a new job in 2012. The realistic goals in the gray area might begin with updating your resume.
If your goal is to deal more effectively with your difficult work colleague, you might want to “Like” my Facebook page, Dealing With Difficult People.
No matter what you want to change, you can see that taking small, manageable steps rather than huge, unrealistic ones, is more likely to end in success.
It’s too overwhelming to pressure ourselves into going from fat to thin, poor to rich, unsatisfied to satisfied. All of that important gray matter in the middle is what is lacking, and why so many of us fail to meet our goals.
So, set realistic goals for 2012 and make your first goal a promise to work on that gray area. In my case, I do mean my hair!