Saturday, April 11, 2009

Chucking the calendar...

A few entries ago, I talked about a concept of chucking the calendar. One of our leaders-in-training mentioned this when telling her story and it resonated with me.

We often talk of "SMART goals" -- with the T usually standing for "time-based." In most goal-setting situations, that's a good thing, because you don't want to belabor a project forever. You want to see measurable progress within a certain timeframe. And in some cases, it can apply to weight loss. When I was first starting WW, I did little time-based goals -- "30 by the 31st" and "Laboring for 40" come to mind. Those were things I needed to do to stay motivated, knowing that I had a very long way to go. However, if you don't have such a long road ahead, or if you are nearing the end of the journey, is it really worth the frustration to set a time-based goal?

For example, my original plan was to hit goal by December 31, 2008. It obviously didn't happen, but it also didn't mean I threw up my hands in disgust and quit the whole thing. By this time, what was a more important factor was crossing the finish line, not worrying about the time it took. The next time frame was to have the goal finished by Easter. Well, I'm 3.2 pounds from that, sitting here on Holy Saturday. So I can pretty safely say it's not going to happen. I'd like to hit it by May 11, my 3-year anniversary. Is it possible? Yes. Is it reasonable? Mostly. Could it backfire and still not happen? Absolutely.

I'm not saying to toss out the calendar completely -- it's good to have time-goals to work on. But don't throw your hands up and quit when it doesn't happen. Another part of the SMART goals is "Reasonable." It's not unreasonable to say, "I am 25 pounds overweight, and I want to lose those 25 pounds." It is unreasonable to want to lose them in about 6 weeks. It can be done, but are you really learning what you need to succeed to keep those 25 from coming right back and bringing about 5 or 10 extra buddies you didn't want? Or is it worth more to take whatever time is necessary in order to get rid of those 25 and keep both them and their buddies from coming back to your neck of the woods!

Consider chucking the calendar -- or reviewing the calendar to see if it is truly reasonable. SMART goals are great; just make sure they're really intelligent, well-designed goals!

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