Monday, November 23, 2009

Keys to Achieving Your Goals: Stretch Targets

“If you want to lose weight, get a shorter belt.”

True story: Whilst shopping for clothes with my daughter recently we walked past the belt section as she needed one. As I’m always looking to capitalise on opportunities and I needed a new belt for my working clothes I also decided to try a few on. I got one my size and tried it on. It felt a little tight, but because it looked good I decided to get it. This ended up being a very good thing.

Once I arrived home I realised (at a more conscious level) that the belt felt a touch tight and it inadvertently engaged my subconscious mind. Only later did I recognise myself easing up on food portions and saying no to the more extravagant foods. Short story: I lost enough weight to comfortably fit into the belt.

There’s quite a simple lesson in this if we dare to expand the application. (And why wouldn’t we?) It’s simply about employing a strategy of stretch targets in order to achieve what in practical terms is achievable.

Whatever is achievable can and should be tried if it’s matched with our desires. We should not be afraid of stretch targets. They might appear scary but what do we have to lose? If we have the desire to achieve a goal it will either be sufficient in order for us to achieve it or we’ll fail enough that our desires grow in proportion to the effort required.

Most people having tried diet after diet and having eventually failed many times stop goal-setting. They decide to give up trying. The point is to never give up trying in the realisation that we will fail. Failure is not really the problem.

If we’re continually goal-setting, we’re going to achieve most or even some of them. These achieved goals will help us feel great about ourselves! It makes all the failure and effort expended all worth it.

© S. J. Wickham, 2009.

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