“The journey is long, but the goal is in each step.” ~Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
My daughter is now nine years old.
A few months ago, I started to feel like we weren’t as close as we used to. I felt like we weren’t spending enough time together, and honestly, when we were I almost didn’t know what to do with her. It felt like our emotional connection was falling apart, like we didn’t have enough topics to discuss or enough games to play.
Moreover, I was getting stressed and annoyed with her easily, and it definitely wasn’t helping. She would be frustrated if I raised my voice.
It was all my fault. I’d been too focused on my work, and I just hadn’t been leaving enough time and energy to our interaction. I hadn’t been prioritizing it.
The problem was too big for me to ignore.
As I’m a big believer in goal-setting, I started to create a goal that would improve our relationship.
People use many methods to reach their goals. One of the most popular and widely used is SMART. This stands for Specific Measurable Attainable Relevant and Time-Based. This technique was something I had used a lot. So I thought I’d use it again.
But I was in big trouble as soon I began.
I was saying to myself, “Okay, it’s definitely relevant to me. And I guess it’s also time-based (ummm, really?). How do I measure this? And how do I make something like ‘relationship’ specific enough?”
Here is the problem. It was more than just reaching a point in my future where my relationship would be ideal with my daughter. It was about having. continuousThis word is really important here: daily improvement in our relationship, so that we could have a great time with each other today, tomorrow. Every day.
Then I realized what the next realization was like.
“My goal is not a Result of some process—my goal It is the process!”
The problem with SMART objectives is that we tend to be more focused on the outcome than the process.
You can’t go wrong with looking at the end result. However, I believe it’s wrong. NotThe journey is what matters most.
While I thought more about it, I found out that there are still limitations to the Smart technique.
We miss out on the important goals that don’t fit into the framework.
My goal in my relationship is with my daughter, and it’s a perfect example of that limitation. It’s obviously very important to me, but it can hardly be measured or timeboxed.
Failing to comply with the deadline can lead to failure.
When we are faced with deadlines we naturally believe missing them is failure. No exception to this rule is our goal. However, we cannot control many things that could affect our ability meet our deadline.
Instead of obsessing about the deadline, I measure success by how consistent and rapid I move.
Failure to meet the deadline is a sign of failure.
Although we have already discussed the timelines, once they are in place, it is also possible to set a date for when work will begin. And we start to face the same problem here—if we don’t start on the date that we defined for ourselves as a “start date,” we feel like losers.
I actually think that this is one of the biggest reasons why we give up on our New Year’s resolutions so often. We just seem to believe that if we didn’t start working on our goal on January 1, then it automatically means that we failed. But that’s just not true—it’s never too late to start working on your goals!
Sometimes we go back to the beginning.
When we focus on the end result too much, it’s too easy to stop paying attention and therefore roll back to the previous state once we achieve that result.
Raise your hand if you ever worked on the goal to “lose ten/twenty/fifty (choose your variant) pounds before the summer.” Okay, and how soon did those pounds come back?
For many years, I struggled to lose weight. I have always been a bit overweight. Although not enough to motivate me to do anything about it, I was still uncomfortable. Multiple attempts at losing weight failed. After a while, however, my progress was steady for a couple of months. Then, it became overwhelming. I tried again and again.
About three years ago I got to my highest weight ever, and it is when I finally said to myself, “Okay, now you Really gotta do something about it.” But I approached it differently this time—I decided to make it part of my lifestyle.
My personal trainer started me working out on a regular basis. It was a time when I began to pay more attention to my diet and alcohol intake. But the most important mental shift that I had to make was that I wasn’t doing it as a temporary thing anymore, or wasn’t trying to achieve a particular “result.” My goal was to learn to appreciate the journey!
Today, almost three years after I began, I weigh forty more than I did when I started. I’m stronger, happier, more confident than ever. Exercise is still something that I enjoy, at least four days a week. Yes, I do. I even workout when I travel, and I would’ve never expected that from myself.
I feel like I am at the point in my personal growth journey when I don’t need the boundaries of specific frameworks anymore.
So, from now on, whenever I create a new goal, I make sure it’s all about the continuous, consistent, sustainableI have made improvements in one aspect of my life.
I make sure it’s all about The ProcedureBecause I believe strongly in it This is the procedureThis is the place where true happiness and success reside.
And if you are curious whether I was able to improve my relationship with my daughter… Well, I am still working on it. Although there is still much to be done, I’ve been able almost entirely stop raising my voice towards her. We are spending more time together now and I am enjoying this more. For which I am so grateful!
Olena Mytruk shares the honest experiences, failures, and learnings from her personal journey of self-development. With the hope of inspiring other women, she shares her journey to success and happiness. Follow Olena on Instagram, or download the Breverie mobile app for goal setting. She created it with one purpose: to help people achieve their goals and lead a more fulfilling life.
Participate in the discussion! To leave a comment, click here
Tiny Buddha’s post My New Approach to Setting Goals – Why It Worked Better for me appeared first on Tiny Buddha.