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  #1  
Old 11-04-15, 01:42 AM
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Let's learn to set realistic goals

I want to learn to set realistic goals. Now I am quite bad at that; if I set no goals not much happens (and I feel bad about my day) and if I set unrealistically high goals nothing happens (and I feel even worse). I tend to do either of these. I think realistic goals can help me be more productive and feel better. My principle will be that I set goals a lot below what I can do and I will allow (but not demand) myself to do more. And also every day, after my goals are done, I will do something small to celebrate the victory.

So, for today, my goals:
goal 1: work (4 hours)
goal 2: start looking for a job coach (15 minutes)
goal 3: clean my room (30 minutes)
goal 4: update my cv (15 minutes)
goal 5: drink a nice cup of tea to celebrate that I've done it (15 minutes).

Of course I can do more, but I really want to be able to reach my goals so that I can feel good about my day. As I described above, is really very rare for me to reach my daily goals, so it would really be a nice victory. If this works for me I will keep posting here more often, perhaps daily. We'll see.

Feel free to join in if you also struggle with unrealistic goals, then we'll learn this together.

Advice is also very welcome. How do you set your goals? What helps you to keep them realistic?
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  #2  
Old 11-04-15, 02:09 AM
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Re: Let's learn to set realistic goals

I have the same problem; if I cant be perfect I might as well just die in a hole.
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Old 11-04-15, 05:12 AM
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Re: Let's learn to set realistic goals

I struggle with everything but Jack, I wanted to tell you that your posts over these last few months have been really uplifting.
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Old 11-04-15, 05:21 AM
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Re: Let's learn to set realistic goals

Very good points! I wrote a kind of related thread about Lists.

The trick for me that I'm learning now, is to not become overwhelmed and upset if some goal can't be met for a reason totally beyond my control.
It's just the small things. I said the other night I would exercise before dinner. But my mother-in-law called and we had a nice chat on the phone. I care for her very much and I wasn't about to say, sorry I'll call you back cause I have to do 2 sets of abs right now. so then I just went and made dinner.

I have very little free time so I don't really "set" them, I just kind of choose one intuitively and dive in.

I like goal 5
I tend to not give myself rewards thought aboiut ahead of time, that's a nice idea.
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Old 11-04-15, 08:33 AM
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Re: Let's learn to set realistic goals

Me too.

My action tends to be driven by "most pressing and urgent right now" - and although I have goals, they swim around in a kind of flexible, ever-adjusting pool of unformed energy and get attended to sporadically when I randomly focus up on them.

Some remain eternally works-in-progress, some become 'pressing and urgent' at some stage and get done in a flurry of last minute pressure.

I like your strategy. Thanks.
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Old 11-04-15, 08:36 AM
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Re: Let's learn to set realistic goals

Update: I've completed all of my goals (and it's only 1:30 pm)!

I feel great! I actually did it! On my bike ride home from work (when only goal 1 was done) I was thinking about my next goals. I felt a little bit anxious, but when I realized that these goals are actually realistic (and worth my time) I started to feel confident that I can do this. I did my goals one by one, with little breaks in between, and now it's done.

The water for my tea is boiling now, I will take a nice relaxed moment of celebrating my victory! Setting realistic goals and completing them is a very rare occurrence for me. I enjoy the feeling that I have now, I feel motivated to do this again!

Thanks for your comments, I'll reply to them after my tea
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Old 11-04-15, 09:21 AM
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Re: Let's learn to set realistic goals

I enjoyed the tea, now let's reply:

@invincible64 - I know that desire. When I try to be perfect, I make long lists of goals that I never start working on. I am starting to think that it's better to accept who I am now (as Delphine suggested) and start from there. Every day is an opportunity to improve some things. Little steps in the right direction add up to something big. The question I am trying to solve with this experiment is: how can you motivate yourself to take these little steps every day? So my question to you is, what would work for you?

@sarah - thanks for your kind words. I know what it's like to struggle with everything, I feel exactly the same. Today is an exception to this rule, I hope that I can keep it up and I hope that your life also becomes less of a struggle!

@stef - I'll look to your thread as well! good point to think about... getting overwhelmed by not being able to complete a goal for a reason that's beyond my control is something that I need to consider. Good example, sweet that you took the time to speak to your mother-in-law . I think not planning too much also helps here, because then you still have spare time to do unexpected things. So I agree that if you have little spare time that it's a good idea to "set" strict goals.

Glad that you liked my fifth goal, I can now tell you that it was very nice! I doubted about whether or not to set an activity in advance or not, but I felt that making such decisions in advance would enable me to visualize the reward in advance and it would not require me to make a decision after doing my work; I mean if the goal was just "do a relaxing activity" then I know I could keep thinking about what to do and time would pass and eventually I would skip it.

@Delphine - I know exactly what you mean with the "kind of flexible, ever-adjusting pool of unformed energy". I tend to procrastinate a lot and this pool just keeps growing. I hope that now I can drain the pool a bit, day-by-day. Glad that you like my strategy, feel free to steal it .
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Old 11-04-15, 09:37 AM
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Re: Let's learn to set realistic goals

I don't think my mind works the same as yours when it comes to goals.

My goals don't often have measurements assigned to them. Like I'll just set a goal to exercise more without specifically assigning a goal of the minimum amount of time or what kind of improvements I want to see on my health.

I wonder if I could do better if I did assign a measurement to it. Guess it's good and bad. Good cause I pretty much always feel like I've accomplished my goal and feel successful. Bad cause maybe I could have accomplished more had I assigned a measurement (I never feel bad about not accomplishing more, but accomplishing more would be a nice thing).

I also wonder what the right number of goals is at a time. I usually only set about 1 or 2 at a time. Haha. I think I have low standards. But well, I do have an easy time achieving my standard since its low.

Maintaining what I've accomplished has always been the more challenging part for me than actually achieving the goals.
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Old 11-04-15, 10:38 AM
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Re: Let's learn to set realistic goals

Hey Jacks, Invitro wrote up a great piece on this, you outta go and have a looksee.
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Old 11-04-15, 05:58 PM
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Re: Let's learn to set realistic goals

@acdc01, I've found I have to put measurements to everything out it will never get done because I'd get completely overwhelmed. And really, if it's something like "clean the bedroom", when is that ever really "done"? I put things on my list like "bag 27 things to donate", "bag 27 things to toss", "put 27 things away" on my list and repeat them sporadically throughout the week. I don't know why 27, but it feels like I got a lot done without feeling like it's impossible.
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Old 11-04-15, 09:39 PM
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Re: Let's learn to set realistic goals

Quote:
Originally Posted by Baker Bird View Post
@acdc01, I've found I have to put measurements to everything out it will never get done because I'd get completely overwhelmed. And really, if it's something like "clean the bedroom", when is that ever really "done"? I put things on my list like "bag 27 things to donate", "bag 27 things to toss", "put 27 things away" on my list and repeat them sporadically throughout the week. I don't know why 27, but it feels like I got a lot done without feeling like it's impossible.
That's interesting. Just to goes to show how different we all are. I guess you always feel pressured to do more and the number reduces pressure on you while I never really feel pressured to do anything and the number puts pressure on me lol.
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Old 11-04-15, 09:42 PM
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Re: Let's learn to set realistic goals

I remember when my kids were very young and I would say something like "tidy your room".... it took me ages to figure out that they had no idea what this even meant.

"Tidy your room" for them might mean "put your crayons in the drawer" - or - "make the middle of the floor clutter-free"...

Me.... trying to be 'a good mum' and 'give 'em chores to make them somewhat responsible' - (even though I could've done it blindfolded in a fraction of the time.).....and them trying to fulfil mum's zany requirements!

Bittersweet comedy is that most days (then and now) I feel exactly like those kiddo's must've felt back then -
Like, what does "tidy the room" mean? What exact components are important? The floor? The crayons? (Don't even get me started on the teensy lego pieces!)

Drawing an analogy to my own life now, and what does "work on this project" mean?

Globally, yes, I get it.... 'be seen to sit down and working on this project'.....
..but which exact components matter right this minute, and what are my expectations about the finish line for today?..... or for next hour or two?....

For me now, (and for the little kiddos back then), the dilemma was/is the same.

But Jacksper wasn't around then

Even so.... sometimes for even a goal like 'goal 5'.... for me that might have to be broken down into "boil kettle. okay. "warm teapot". good. now "place tealeaves in pot". nice. "now notice when water is boiling and don't forget it for ages.....Fetch cup..... etc. etc. etc.
(ie. intend to make tea, boil kettle, forget about that and go do something else, then remember and reboil water, but teapot is missing now..... that's far more familiar.)
- And that's just the tea part of my life!

Have a lot in common with 5 year olds some days!
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Old 11-06-15, 01:47 PM
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Re: Let's learn to set realistic goals

haha! Last thing on my list today "make a nice cup of tea".... and fell at the last hurdle!

Busy day... sorting lots of things before going on hols next week... including making a long road trip to deal with something I'd been putting off.

Got it all done.... but.. came home, boiled kettle, brewed tea... then remembered I'd forgotten to check the postbox (left before postie arrived this morning).

Found a bunch of post in the box - opened them (can be rare enough for me)... dealt with one or two, needed to rummage through some files to find details for another.....

...then remembered the tea, which was now old and cold....

Boiling kettle again now, and this time my goal is 'make tea and then sit down and enjoy it.

Gotta be very specific with this brain of mine!
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