From the beginning of my known memory I have always been focused on the future. This blog shows this with a plethora of goals I made during the past year. Write a novel, get in great shape, live healthier, skate better, and other things. With this blog entry I’m going to question if I do this too much, and if I should try to develop another mindset or approach to my thinking.
Goal setting has changed my life in the past year with these two decisions: to quit smoking cigarettes, and quitting drinking. Both took time and a lot of thought. I think without a goal for healthier living cessation of anything would be difficult. When people want to quit something they need to evaluate the reasons why and envision their lives without that vice. For those two things I’m glad I was able to make those life changes, and I think obsessing about a better future was a good way to approach doing that.
I can attribute being more active to the way I think about goals. Since July 2009 I’ve been skating semi regular averaging once or a couple times a week. I’ve enjoyed this and I’ve progressed slowly but surely. I find this a great way to spend my days off, and NYC has so many great parks to choose from. Also, I’ve gotten in better shape over the last year, from thinking through a gym workout routine. Some colds, minor injuries, and other excuses and made my workouts not as regular as a more consistent person would work out. But I’m in a lot better shape than I was four years ago. I think with both the gym and skating goal setting has gotten me out there.
Those are the positives in my life from goal setting, or thinking of ways to improve. Now I’ll start with the negatives. With skating, I love doing it, and have progressed some. But I need to be practical of my limitations. Skating once or twice a week means I will not ever get to a really advanced level. I think the really good skaters skate a lot, or at one point skated a lot, or are simply more talented. So I think a better approach than simply trying to improve everything would be to just relax with it. It’s been almost two weeks since I skated, but the last time I skated at McCarren Skatepark in Williamsburg BK. There is a knee high ledge that I simply was trying to ollie up, but I kept falling hard. I felt like I should be able to ollie up that ledge. However easy I thought it was, I should have moved on to another trick or obstacle instead of falling so many times. When I skate this weekend I’m sure I’ll do the same thing, get focused on a single trick, obsess over it, and get frustrated when I’m unable to do it. For me, skating should be more about having fun at this point. I shouldn’t have a check off list of tricks to land. But that is how my goal setting mind works, I need to improve, and be good at it. That needs to change, and I need to have more fun with my sport rather than putting ridiculous expectations on my self. With the gym, the goal is to get in better shape for skating. I think I should keep that goal, and go to the gym. Actualization for fitness will not happen unless I work out. I can day dream all I want, but for that I need to put my time in. Week by week I should get there instead of day dreaming about months into the future of my current workout plan.
Writing is another activity I make goals about. These can be the most deluded, unrealistic, and egotistical thoughts I have. Of course I’m going to write a novel that Oprah will love, and the selling of the movie rights will set me up for life. People have told me ‘you can’t give up your dreams’ and ‘keep trying.’ I agree that people who are passionate should try for it all. But my goals and my actual writing are two vastly different beasts. My goals are to write regularly, enforce deadlines on myself, read books on writing, go read in front of people, join writing workshops, send things out for publication, and so forth. My actual writing these days is all on this blog, there is nothing else. My posts are irregular and have not set the blogisphere on fire by any means. But even this blog I planned to write a couple entries a week, and somehow I can never do this that regularly. This is very easy writing, I simply put on pandora.com and type my thoughts. No revision, no nail biting over structure, word choices, or anything. And I enjoy writing these blogs, and getting feedback from family and friends. With any type of discipline you have to practice, and I don’t do enough writing. Awhile ago I wrote a blog about writing my novel in 2011, and that I would start my outlines soon. I haven’t started my outline yet, maybe I’ll start it next month, or more honestly I may never start it. Writing has been my dreams, but from my lack of practice is really my most unrealistic goal.
In closing I think goal setting is okay, if I come up with a practical way to make the said goal happen. Pie in the sky win the lottery goals will not make my life better and might make me bitter when I get older and they do not come true. So I should plan realistically, arrange what is important, and then apply myself to make it possible. Also I need to accept who I am, my life, and make what I got better.