Goals and the Switcheroo

It’s hard to be successful without having goals and milestones, isn’t it?  In order to get where you want to go, you need to know where you’re headed, right? Hence, the advent of GOALS.

How would you define success? (Wow ~ this must be National Deep Thinking Day for me.)

Here’s what I mean when I use the word success. We and our kids are successful when we reach our goals.

We all have goals, well-defined or not. Perhaps my goal is to keep from eating ice cream today, and another one is to clean the basement someday. Both are goals: one is short term, and the other is long term.

The higher I set my expectations, the harder I have to work to satisfy them. If I’m going to finish cleaning the basement by tomorrow night, I have to work harder than if my goal is to finish cleaning the basement by the end of next month. The higher the bar is set, the harder the work at hand, and the more determination required to meet the goal. Are you with me?

The thing about goals is they are oh-so-subjective. Think about the marathon runner who reaches the finish line first. Is he successful? That depends on what his actual goal was in running the race.

If he is out to beat his personal best time, and he wins the race without doing so, he will not have reached his goal even though he won the race.

The guy who finishes last does not necessarily look like a winner, does he? Yet, if his goal was simply to finish the race, then he was certainly successful. If his goal was to beat somebody, anybody, across the finish line, then he did not meet his goal.

See what I mean about goals being utterly subjective?

Do I have to reach my goals in order to be successful? Not necessarily. You see, sometimes we have to revise our goals along the way. Sometimes goals require a little switcheroo.

Sometimes we set goals too high, and reality lets us know it. Lofty, unreachable goals are no fun. They result in major frustration. When setting goals, I reserve the right to adjust them as necessary in order for them to actually be reachable and not become stumbling blocks. It is absolutely fine to revise our goals so that they are attainable. It is better to revise wisely than to fail miserably.

Now, if your goal is drop three pounds this week, and you get the munchies and decide to revise your goal at 11PM so you can tear into that package of oreos, that’s a BAD thing, okay? Not what I’m talkin’ ’bout here.

However, if your goal is to drop three pounds this week, you go out for a run and twist your ankle, you are going to have a setback to deal with. Don’t negate the goal entirely; revise it slightly. Make sense?

Some folks never set goals out of fear that they will fail to reach them. I would much rather have to adjust my goals because I set them too high than not have any goals at all. I love a challenge, but I don’t enjoy being challenged beyond reason.

Do you set goals for yourself, even if they are just mental goals?

We all have goals, whether we know it or not. Maybe your goal is not to have any goals just to prove me wrong. It’s still a goal.  😛

Goals can be very motivating things to have in place, and they can be very motivating for our children, especially when we allow them to set their own.

The self-propelled student has the tools and the motivation to set his own goals, adjust them if necessary, and make continual process daily as he builds success upon success upon success! Allow your children to set their own educational goals, and see how much more motivated they become at reaching them!


About the Author

Joanne Calderwood has been called America’s Homeschool Mom. She is an underwhelmed Mom of eight great kids, owner of URtheMOM.com, and an author and columnist. Her new book, The Self-Propelled Advantage: The Parent’s Guide to Raising Independent, Motivated Kids Who Learn with Excellence, enables parents to teach their kids to teach themselves with excellence.

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