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Anyone here up for a challenge? :) - GOYA and GOMA: Get Off Your Ass and Get Off My Ass [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
GOYA and GOMA: Get Off Your Ass and Get Off My Ass

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Anyone here up for a challenge? :) [Jun. 20th, 2006|09:56 pm]
GOYA and GOMA: Get Off Your Ass and Get Off My Ass


[mood |contemplativecontemplative]

Well, here's my first post to this group.  And it's gonna be a strange one!

Here's a question: 

How does someone who has never set goals learn to set goals?

A little background is needed here, I think.  I grew up in an environment where no goals were set and nothing was expected from any of us as children.  On a subtle level, we knew that we were expected to fail no matter what we did, I think.  But since my mother died when I was eight years old, I learned at that time that things can change in the blink of an eye.  I learned to not set goals - why plan anything when it can all get wiped out in a second?  ANY goals.  Short term, or long term, no goals.  And 44 years later, nothing has changed.  I still have the mindset of the eight year old girl.

So I found this community intriguing.  I guess I figure I can learn something here, maybe learn how to change my thinking.  I've done things my way for 44 years; it doesn't work.  LOL!!!  Could be time to make some changes, huh?

[User Picture]From: aithlyn
2006-06-21 02:18 am (UTC)
Wow, I really do hear you on feeling like "why set goals?" because they honestly can get wiped out in the blink of an eye. Curiously, I still set them. Why do I do that? Well, for starters, goals do change and evolve as life transforms. Goals cannot be set in stone. Even long-term goals need flexibility. That's why I've stopped setting goals like "I need to lose ten pounds this month" and have started saying things like "I will go to belly dance, yoga, and personal training this week." And if something happens and I have to cancel one of those workouts? That's okay. I will find a way to make it up. It's about staying loose, keeping your focus but not narrowing it so much that anything short of 100 percent doesn't count. Life really isn't like that. After all, even a 70 is a passing grade!

It's all about progress, more than completion. Does that make any sense?
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[User Picture]From: lekook
2006-06-21 02:37 am (UTC)
It's about staying loose, keeping your focus but not narrowing it so much that anything short of 100 percent doesn't count. Life really isn't like that. After all, even a 70 is a passing grade!

You really do have a knack for hitting the nail square on the head, LOL!!! Seriously, I get what you're saying, but how do I change my thinking? In my perception, it's 100% - 99.999999% doesn't count - and since I know nothing is 100%, that's why I don't even bother. And this isn't really even a conscious decision on my part - it's on a sub level that it's happening.

Anything that I've ever done that seems like achievement of a goal is really achievement of someone else's goal. I can't think of a single thing I've done on my own, without being "partnered" with someone else (and I don't mean moral support).

Hopefully this will give you a better idea of what I'm dealing with and the level of the matter. I do realize that normal people are NOT like this. And don't think that I'm anti-goals - I'm not. I just know I won't get anything done in this lifetime if this continues.
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[User Picture]From: morlith
2006-06-21 12:11 pm (UTC)
What's your definition of a "goal"?

Is it something that has to be reached (such as "I'm going to lose 30 pounds!")? A skill you want to learn? Something else?

It sounds like, to me at least, that for you a "goal" is some lofty, difficult thing to do. Am I right?

Anything can be a goal. "I'm going to do a load of laundry" qualifies as much as "I'm going to run a marathon". Goals are what you make them, really. If you want to set a time for you to complete something, you can do that. Or not.

Changing your thinking about "goals" may simply invovle examining how you define what a "goal" is and how you react to it. Or I could be totally wrong. ;)
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[User Picture]From: lekook
2006-06-21 03:48 pm (UTC)
What's your definition of a "goal"?

Is it something that has to be reached (such as "I'm going to lose 30 pounds!")? A skill you want to learn? Something else?

Hmmmm... another excellent question. To my thinking, a goal is losing 30 pounds, or learning a skill. It's not something lofty (I'm not into lofty, LOL!). To me doing laundry is something I do when I happen to see dirty clothes next to the washing machine - I don't wake up thinking I'll do laundry today. Thus the mounds of dirty clothes piled up in the laundry room. ;)

Here's an illustration of the mental stuff I go through with setting goals.

Back in 1980 or thereabouts, I had a great idea for a science fiction novel. The idea swam around in my head for a couple of weeks. So I sat down, mapped it out, and started writing chapter 1, which I finished.

But that was it. Somewhere in my mind was the thought (and it was so subtle, it usually all seems to pile on in a milisecond), "Why am I doing this? I can't finish it in one day, and by tomorrow, who knows? I may not like the story, or something will happen to stop me from continuing it [and it could be anything I want to do it stops, not just writing a story!]."

In that particular case, something did actually happen (major auto accident which had me bedridden for 2 months), but the point is, all this stuff goes firing around in my brain in a split second and shoots anything I want to accomplish into oblivion. A normal person would pick up where they left off - 2 months in bed? - on month 3 get up and start writing again, LOL!!!

I've tried to accomplish other things, like learn a language, had an idea for another non-fiction book, learn a new skill... The same thing happens EVERY time.

My two older brothers are in the same boat. They seem not to want to do anything about it in their own lives, but I'm tired of it. I've talked to more than one therapist about this and they don't seem to be able to address it or offer any suggestions on how to change my thinking.

Any suggestions you might have to offer, I'm open. :) And I appreciate your willingness to discuss this with me, too.
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[User Picture]From: aithlyn
2006-06-23 01:36 am (UTC)
I think maybe you need to set smaller goals. :)

When it comes to writing, a book is pretty much the biggest goal you can have, unless you set your goal as "I'm going to write a series of books." ;)

Think about that book. Do you still want to write it? If not, it's not a goal for you anymore. Goals change all the time. Part of what's holding you back from setting new goals is that you think you've got old ones undone. It's unlikely that many of the goals you had in 1980 are still goals for the you of today. I mean, in 1980 my goal was probably to marry Gene Simmons or something! LOL!

Start fresh. Start small, really small. My goal this past week was to make it to the gym three times and I did that. Next week, I want to make it four. I'll take three, though. It's way, way better than zero!

One goal might be to think about the types of goals you want to set, and try writing some down. Don't worry about actually making these your real goals. Just toss ideas around. You may be surprised at what you will write down when you don't feel the pressure to actually make the goals happen. Just think about the things you might (MIGHT) like to do, and jot some time frames down. Some goals might be for this week. Others might be this year. Others might be just something you hope to do in this lifetime. Again, don't feel like you have to actually make these real. Just play with goal setting a bit and see how it goes. (I do this with budgets all the time; it helps me to ease into actually using them.)

And keep talking about it. That helps. :)

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[User Picture]From: atypia
2006-06-29 09:06 pm (UTC)
Maybe you could start with setting really small goals.

I have a To Do list for the day. I write down a few select things that I want to do in the day, and cross them off when they're done. This can be anything from visiting a friend to doing laundry to cleaning the bathroom.

The trick is to make the list short, and acheivable. A long list only means that if you're not superwoman/superman for the day and don't get everything done you feel negatively. Focus on acheivement, not what you could do on a really good day.

And reward yourself. Everything you acheive, have a little reward (anything from having a cup of tea to going to see a movie etc etc).

Setting small goals, crossing them off, and rewarding yourself for each goal is, in my opinion, a good way to get started with implementing goal setting into your life.

Baby steps, really :) Start out small, and then later on you can think about more long term goals than "the next day".
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