After years of failed attempts I’ve finally realized that setting goals are the equivalent of roasting marshmallows on an open flame… and you’re five years old.
No one’s got the patience for that sh*t! We’d rather limply hold our sticks over the flame, complain about how it’s taking too long, and then hand it all over to someone else who’s manning the flame because we have better things to do… but we’ll wait around and then complain some more about how it doesn’t taste right, look right and it’s NOT GOLDEN BROWN like we wanted Daddy!
On a whole world-conscious level, we are impatient to the core, so much so that study out of the University of Scranton— and they may or may not be using Dunder Mifflin as their paper company — says that 92% of people don’t achieve their goals.
Goal setting requires planning, visioning, predicting future events, and it’s also filled with a cosmic amount of uncertainty, not to mention the potential to end up wasting an extravagant amount of time — the biggest casualty of all.
I have struggled in earnest when it comes to setting goals, and the required “sticking to them” all my life, yet each January here I am, seeking out goals while they go and hide… in Australia.
But this year — I’m saying this with as much conviction as I can — I am going to do better!
If you’re struggling too, here’s what we can do together to make some sort of headway in 2022… God-willing:
1. Make an actual plan.
I’m so plan-averse it’s as if I got the vax for it.
They don’t stick, they don’t work, I’m immune to plan-making BUT if I keep it to the things that are within my actual control, like making a concerted effort to eat lunch every day and not some sad sorry snack that segues into cheese, crackers, and cocktails by 6 pm, I may have a shot.
I will plan out a writing schedule so you can pin your weekly hopes on me showing up in your inbox every Friday, showering you with insightful wisdom such as this.
I will also work out every day because it makes me feel good, not so I can get 6-pack abs because my abs don’t do that, never have, never will because I’m not that disciplined.
2. Become more disciplined.
If I have to hear about discipline being the gateway to freedom one more time (Jocko Willink, I’m obsessed with you), I may actually have to get out of bed at 5 am to prove them wrong.
As much as I adore my nighttime dwelling spot, I know that life will look a lot more like I want it to if I rip the covers off and get on with it.
I believe I have the ability to be disciplined enough to stick to a timeline (notice I said “timeline” and not 5 am), and yes, life can turn batshit crazy on a dime — and don’t we all secretly love that because it’s an all-purpose escape hatch from doing the things we don’t want to — but being disciplined is about standing tall in face of adversity and doing what you planned on doing no. matter. what.
So, no matter what (Jocko) I’m going to get up early(ish) and get to work on my goal. (Notice I said “goal” not “goalS” which brings me to…)
3. Start super small.
OMG, can you STAND ME ANYMORE?
I’m a broken record I know. But for f*cksake, it’s the only way you’ll hear me!
There can’t be a list with 50 things on it, 20, 10, or even seven! You can’t have a list with seven things on it for the love of God otherwise you’re going to be so jealous of that one friend who at the beginning of the year sucked at marketing but then went out and made a cemented plan and now is on track to run some Fortune 500 company because she had the plan, and the discipline and the whittled down goal of achieving one thing — ONE THING — and she made it work for her.
I don’t have a friend like that, but I could, and dammit I’m going to be better than her this time around so help me Jocko! (He’s a Navy SEAL because I hear you now all like, WHO IS JOCKO?)
Goal setting isn’t for the faint of heart — or for the vaxxed (if that makes no sense, go back to #1). It requires you to slow down, place butt in chair and begin answering some hard-life questions. It takes time — something many of us aren’t willing to give up.
I used to always think it was time wasted as well… and therein lies my number one problem!
The true key to getting things done — I’m learning — is to horde as much patience as you can, use it as wisely as possible, and believe that what you’re doing, the things you want to achieve most are in fact worth the time it takes to sit patiently and roast your marshmallows to that perfect golden brown hue.
Bring it 2022, I think we got it now!