Monday, 1 February 2010

Resilience Tip: Two Kinds of Goals

In any area of your life, you have a choice between two different kinds of goals, of targets to aim for.  

To illustrate this, let's look at fitness:

One kind of goal is the "results" goal - that's when you're aiming at losing X number of pounds / kilograms, fitting into last year's clothes or adding X inches / centimeters to those muscles. 

The second kind is a "performance" goal, when you commit yourself to taking specific actions at specific times over a certain, usually short, period of time.  You might commit to running 5 km twice a week or doing 100 push-ups a day or doing your yoga routine every morning without fail, for instance.  

And remember, in every area of your life you have a choice between these two kinds of goals.  Wisdom is knowing which to select when.  Fortunately, experience will teach you that.

In general, performance goals are the place to start, because if you don't learn to keep your commitments no matter what the obstacles, it's not much use to chase after results goals!  You just won't have what it takes to get there.  That's why every ancient tradition for training people physically and spiritually favored performance goals, knowing that performance automatically brings results.

This is also important because you don't always control the outcome - in relationships, for example, you don't control the other person's perceptions and reactions.  All you can do is act with integrity and let the chips fall where they may.  So in situations like that, a results goal is dangerous, because it makes you responsible for things you don't control - so beware.

So concentrate on your performance goals and the results will almost always follow.  They'll usually follow in the short term and will always follow in the long term.

Do you know YOUR performance goals for the week?  If not, pull out a pen and paper...

~ Dr. Symeon Rodger

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