I Ditched the Monthly Challenge Mindset

My last post addressed a 90-day challenge that I had made for myself. I reported that I may as well have called it a complete fail. The ONLY area that I actually feel that I accomplished, was to stay off of Facebook. I am still not on Facebook, as I am ending that on June first. I still find that staying off of Facebook is extremely important for my growth. There are other things that I ALSO feel that way about, but that is the ONE I am working on for now.

Anyway, after reporting on that, I mentioned that I would post a new challenge for the month of May. I DID post it, but I took it down after a little while. I realized that it was just words on a screen. I hadn’t stuck to any of the goals, for even the first day! What is my problem?! Well, I came up with the answer!

Two days ago, I wrote in the journal that I bought initially to track my progress, thoughts, struggles, etc. for my 90-day challenge. The first sentence read something like, “I am TERRIBLE at goals and I am TERRIBLE at recording.” I hadn’t even kept up with the journalling, let alone the goals! And that’s just it. I’m bad at them. I make goals for a stretch of time, and I look at the goals like I look at a mess. I am immediately overwhelmed and resigned to failure!

I noticed that any time I would set goals for a stretch of time, I was falling into the same routine. Make goals. Get intimidated. Fail once. Consider complete failure. Abandon goals completely.

You see, the way I looked at it was, that if I made a goal like “I won’t drink soda for a month,” I would be immediately intimidated. “What if I drink soda?” “I’m probably going to drink soda.” “I really like soda.” “Surely, I can survive a month. I’ve gone years without it.” “But I really really like soda.” Then, I drink soda. I usually drink it the day of, or the day after I make the goal. AUTO-FAIL! How can I achieve a goal of going a month without soda if I didn’t even make it one day? As soon as I fail that goal, I’ve failed the ENTIRE month’s worth of goal.

So, how do I move forward after making this observation and realization? I no longer make such limited goals for such long periods of time. (Except the Facebook goal. Maybe ONE goal like that a month wouldn’t be so bad, but for the time being, the Facebook goal is my last for a while, at least.) Instead, two days ago, I implemented a new goal system. Instead of making monthly goals, I have been making daily goals. I also revisited the way I worded my goals. Before, my goals were more negative than positive. (example: NO soda for a month) The goal I used to replace it, has been TODAY, I will drink at least 64 oz of water. This doesn’t make it EASY for me to fit in much soda, but IF I DO drink it, I haven’t failed! AND, if I don’t make it to 64 oz by bedtime (which I have actually exceeded for the first two days of my new goal system), then I can just try again tomorrow. My goals reset daily, so I don’t have to lose a large number of progress if I mess up once. AND? I don’t HAVE to have that same goal tomorrow! For instance, if I knew tomorrow was a special occasion, and I would be more likely to drink non-water drinks more, I may cut down my water goal to 48 oz, or even HALF, if I really wanted to treat myself. So, I’m still not failing a monthly goal, because I took ONE day a little less strictly in an area.

In conclusion, this is day three, and on day one and two, I am satisfied with the new goals system I have placed. I haven’t been intimidated, and have felt freed, in fact, even with goals in place! And when I didn’t FULLY accomplish any of my goals, I didn’t feel completely deflated. I made hefty goals, and (except for my quiet time yesterday-that I completely failed to have) I made a huge stride in MOST of my goals. So, even the ones that I technically ‘failed’, don’t feel like failures! I have taken pressure off of myself, while still working to better myself in several areas.

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