Blog #440 If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!!

If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.

I have written about goals – especially SMART goals:  (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound).  

Now, let’s think about what to do after you set your goals.

But, first – an aside.  

Last spring (spring 2017), I planted my garden.  I have a nice raised bed system with great soil, peat moss, and fertilizer (manure).  I had tomatoes (always in my garden), spinach, green beans, and green peppers. My goal was to have nice vegetables.  Alas, I had aorta surgery in July and I did not maintain the garden. In central Texas (with an average of at least thirty days over 100 degrees) and the rest of July and August in the upper 90’s; you have to water plants and maintain them.  But, I didn’t!! I had a goal, but I didn’t follow through. After my surgery in July, the plants really didn’t get watered or hoed around.

Goals are great – then what?

You have to plan to reach the goals.  The adage is “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail”.

Some goal making websites say two additional things to your SMART goals:

  1. How you are going to achieve that goal
  2. How you are going to feel when you reach that goal.

Let’s take the easy one of “By December 31, 2018, I will weigh no more than 200 pounds”.  For me, that is a fairly easy goal – I weighed in at 210 this morning – so that is about losing 3 pounds a month.

So, let’s modify the goal:  “By December 31, 2018, I will weigh no more than 200 pounds, and I will weigh no more than 200 pounds until July 31, 2019.  To achieve that goal, I will eat a nutritious breakfast of eggs or oatmeal; I will eat salad for lunch, and I will eat sparingly for dinner.  I will cut out almost all sugar and sweets; I will cut out almost all bread. I will avoid extra salt and I will drink only water, black coffee, and unsweet ice tea.  I also will work out at the fitness center for at least an hour three times a week with aerobic and non-aerobic activities. I will weigh myself at least three times a week in the morning.  I will have a post-it note on my bathroom mirror reminding me of my goal and my progress.”

Okay, that goal is much more specific than the first goal.

Now to put the second part on it.  “<same long goal plus>. When I reach my goal I will feel so good, I will stand in front of the mirror and admire myself in the mirror.  I will buy myself a gift of <some item of clothes> in celebration.” (You can also reward yourself with dinner, ice cream, or something that you left off your diet while losing the weight.)

The more specific the goal with details, an emotional plus at the reaching of the goal.  Say it out loud, get it in your brain, post it on your mirror, on the dashboard of the car, in the kitchen – make it memorable.

How about this goal for your mind/intellect?  By December 31, 2018, I will have mastered all the modules in the Duolingo German application at the highest level.  I will be able to take any and all of the mastery tests missing no more than 10% of the questions. I will spend at least thirty minutes a day, generally between 6 and 7 a.m. When I have five or more minutes free I will pull out my iPhone and do a German lesson.  By December 1, 2018, I will read at least two children’s books written in German during the month of December 2018; and I will learn (relearn) Silent Night (Stille Nacht) and Oh Tannenbaum in German. Upon completion, I will buy a pair of lederhosen and proudly wear my lederhosen when I play in the Brushy Creek Brass Band in Walburg.  

Do you see what I am doing – fleshing out the goals with intermediate goals, daily goals, weekly goals, and an emotional ending at the completion of the goal.

What do you think?

Try writing a goal for yourself and posting it below.


Posted by Bruce White

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