ARE YOU A GOAL-SETTER OR AN EXCUSE-MAKER?
Are you a goal-setter? I would argue that we all are, at our most foundational level. Look at our bodies as organisms. From a biological perspective, our brains set a goal. Our body and various systems then work to achieve that goal. For example, your brain requires X amount of oxygen intake to function. The brain sets that goal, which is now triggering the lungs, nostrils, breathing passageways, etc. all to work in harmony to take in oxygen. Even when we aren’t aware of it, we are accomplishing great things. Imagine what we can accomplish if we ARE aware – imagine then, if we FOCUS on it!
This weekend, I checked off a longstanding goal – one that wasn’t written down anywhere. As mundane as it may sound, Chrissy and I bought new dishware, flatware, and glasses. For us, two broken pieces of different puzzles that found each other and fit together perfectly, it was symbolic. My Granny’s old-fashioned Corelle plates that are damn-near indestructible, mixed with various dishes from Chrissy’s past and my own mish-mosh of kitchen-ware. It was a living breathing mockery of the progress we’ve made. In a short time since coming together, we have accomplished quite a bit. We have bought a house, gotten largely out of debt, completed degrees (working on more), started businesses, and so much more. And here we are eating off mismatched dishes like we just moved out on our own for the first time.
I cook. I love to express myself in the kitchen, and serving on those old plates, which I was very thankful to have at the time, just wasn’t me. Somewhere in my mind I have it set that for one to be a ‘grownup”, it involves matching kitchen-ware. As silly as it seems, it has always been a goal, in the back of my mind, to replace the old with new in my kitchen. We did it with the appliances. We will do it with the countertops. Those are written down on our list of “House-Goals” – but dishware wasn’t. It wasn’t a goal I had written down anywhere. It was just something in my head. Kind of like breathing.
I walk through my no longer mismatched kitchen, and a twinge of disappointment tickles my feels. For years I have been writing down my goals – a list of things I wanted to achieve within a short period, and another list for long-term goals. There are specific lists for each one in the family, one for my home, one for my business. I am a list-maker and goal-setter, and my wife is, too. Checking these things off gives us great pleasure. Setting these goals…creating these lists…it’s getting me out of debt, it has built a successful business, completed a Master’s degree, made me a working actor, and led me closer to my dreams than ever before. You think I’m a goal-setter? You’re damn right I am. I believe in it. I believe in lists, setting alarms in your phone, tying strings around fingers, whatever it takes. Because I don’t want to be an excuse-maker. When something doesn’t go as expected, there are reasons and excuses. The reason is simply WHY and HOW it happened. The excuse is what we tell ourselves to keep from learning from the experience. No Excuses.
BE YOUR OWN BOSS! EARN YOUR DOWNTIME!
By setting goals, and writing them down, you are putting actual, tangible benchmarks in front of you. You are working toward something real and concrete, not abstract, like an idea. I like to come home, take my pants off, chill out, play Xbox and zone out just as much as anyone – too much, probably. However, my goals put me in a position where I CAN do that. Because I am checking things off my lists, I’m earning my downtime. Be your own boss! Even if you aren’t working for yourself like I am. YOU are a business. You’ve got to keep up the books, morale, healthcare, vacation, training, and all that entails running a business. No business succeeds without goals – written down, tangible goals. Run your Self like a business and see how far you go! It begins with setting goals and making lists!
I would rather be setting new goals and marking old ones off my list rather than sitting around making excuses as to why I never did this or accomplished that. I’m 42-years old and gave up on my dream of acting 20+ years ago, only to pick it back up recently. When I set the goals for my Voiceover business, that business quickly evolved into a full-on media and marketing company. I saw that I was more than just a voiceover guy. I was an actor, a coach, a writer, a voiceover ARTIST, and so much more. More opportunities arose and income-fields began to sprout forth. All of this happened because I took pen to paper and started writing it all down! One of the goals I set for that business was to find representation with a talent agency for voice work. Checking that goal off my list led me to rediscovering my passion for acting!
Today, I have a little more peace-of-mind in my kitchen, for as silly as my reasoning may seem. I’m sad that I didn’t write that goaldown so I can check it off, but I am inspired to sit down and write new goals. Last time I did this, great things happened! I can’t wait to see what happens this time around. Will you make a goal list today? Make a 6-month goal list, a 12-month goal list, and a 5-year goal list. Believe me, you will be shocked how fast you accomplish the 5-year list! Having it written down actualizes it for you in a way that makes it REAL and tangible. Ideas are great. They are the spark. Without anything tangible to catch fire, that spark fizzles out – just like the idea! Make a list today. Even if it is a daily to-do list. Your life will be better for it and you WILL find greater success, peace, and happiness.