I do not want to admit how many come to fruition, how many are totally forgotten, nor how many seem to end up on the stone tablet year in, year out without the slightest discernible progress. I don’t think I’m alone here—apparently losing 10lbs, getting more exercise, and learning a foreign language rank high on this perpetual list of non-achievement for many.
Sigh. Put learning Spanish on that one for me. I live in Mexico so this can safely be said to be important, politically correct, and embarrassing not to have accomplished.
For over a decade it has reared its troublesome and challenging head on my lists of Very Important Goals for any given year. And I think I can honestly admit I understand a conversation in Spanish about as well as I did 10 years ago.
This goal needs life support, resuscitation. I had pretty much given up on it.
Until recently. I happened upon a comment about project management that seemed to apply to this area. It was about being realistic with what you’re not willing to do in any given circumstance where you’re trying to accomplish something. I played around with it, added some steps, got it to work for me and dubbed it the “Let’s Get Real Goal Resuscitation Scheme”.
It’s especially for those annoying goals that stubbornly won’t manifest for some reason. The ones that seem to fizzle somewhere around January 5.
And it’s working! Two months into it, I have actually been complimented on how much my Spanish has improved lately. Please trust me, this has never happened before.
Here it is.
Take a recurring goal that needs life support. Choose your favorite. Fill in the blanks.
- State the goal.
- I am NOT willing to…..
- I AM willing to….
- There is a remote possibility I might just, maybe, POSSIBLY be willing to….
So….let’s say it’s learning Spanish. Ahem.
Goal: I want to get better at Spanish, be able to understand conversations, speak and be understood.
I’m NOT willing to:….go to any more classes, employ a tutor (shoot me first), spend two hours a day on it, watch Spanish speaking soaps or cartoons. (I’ve done all of that)
I AM willing to:….do some online course of some sort. Maybe 10 mins a day.
I might just, maybe, POSSIBLY be willing to:…work with a friend, go to a class with a friend (combine it with social occasion), start speaking it every chance I get for practice.
Well, lo and behold, getting real about it, and recognizing what I absolutely am not willing to do any more, kind of broke the impasse I had created.
When we kid ourselves about what we are actually willing to do, we remain stuck. And sometimes we set unrealistic or overly vague goals (to learn Spanish) and become overwhelmed. I had this big picture of attending classes, which cost a fortune and were held 3X a week. And did nothing for my Spanish. I’ve done it before.
After getting real with myself, I discovered an online course that doesn’t make me with froth at the mouth or bleed from the ears after 10 minutes (SynergySpanish.com), and while I don’t listen every day, I am managing it several times a week. It’s working. There is this smidgen of progress. A teeny tiny light at the end of the Spanish-speaking tunnel.
Try this process on your most stubborn goals. Try it on the 10 lbs one (come on, it’s on everybody’s list unless you’re skinny). See what comes up.
Let me know.
(If you want to know more about how to get goal setting to actually work, instead of just depressing you, shoot me an email and we can work together. I have some great processes for kick starting stubborn stuff back into gear.)
I will give this a try, and also share it to my Positive Change Methods group – thanks Margaret!
Thanks, that would be great! It certainly works for me and I’m a stubborn case.