Saturday, November 7, 2009

Accomplishing Something Every Day

As I start into month two of my year of goals, I find again and again that having a clear cut direction of what I hope to accomplish each day gives me peace. Prior to this, many a day passed by without my even being able to remember what I'd done.

I came across an interesting statistic today in a book entitled Simple Secrets for becoming Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise - What scientists have learned and how you can use it.

People who thought they were making progress toward their goals-regardless of how much they still had left to accomplish-were 51 percent more likely to be satisfied with themselves than people who felt they were stagnating. (DeShon and Gillepsie 2005).

Only one or two of my friends are even willing to set goals. Most have a deep fear of being disappointed, either in the outcome or in themselves. Maybe it's just a new way of looking at what success is that's needed. If you're trying to eat healthy or exercise more and you "fail" nine days out of ten, but one day do a great job, then you are one day further ahead than you would be if you'd not undertaken the journey to make your life better. You have not failed, you have one milestone crossed and can set a goal the next twenty days to get one more or maybe two such days. And look at those days that didn't work out as wonderful experiments to tweak your system. As Edison insisted - he did not fail those 700 times he tried to create an electric light bulb, but rather found 700 ways that did not work.

On the days you fail to save money, exercise, eat right, be patient with your kids, meditate, etc. just ask yourself with a gentle curiosity that night, "What happened? What can I tweak? How can I do even better tomorrow?" And realize that's probably long term as beneficial as a "good" day would have been. As I keep telling my five year old son, if he tries to read hard words or take on a math problem he's unsure of, THAT is how he's going to get better.

So best wishes to each of you. May you accomplish something each day and that accomplishment might be figuring out what doesn't work. And may you and I keep taking baby steps to our dreams.

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