Thursday, August 25, 2011

Newer Post Older Post Home

Setting Goals and Realizing Them (Trying to Understand Motivation)

First of all, ‘to realize your goal’ is similar to ‘realizing your dreams’: to have a goal or dream and to do the work so that is actually happens. For example:

One of the many wonderful things
I found in Mexico - a stray dog we
rescued and called Bianca. She's
 now happily living in the USA! :-)
He realized his dream of living abroad by moving to Mexico.

She realized her goal of becoming an artist by quitting her job and taking a course at college.

What goals have you realized recently?

I'm not very good at realizing goals. Recently, I gave myself the challenge of learning 1000 new words and phrases in Spanish – I managed 869 in 1 month (see video here). I’m happy with this achievement but I know there are lots of other times in the past when I ‘gave up’ (meaning stopped trying) and I didn’t complete a goal that I set (‘setting goals’ means ‘making goals’).

How do we achieve learning goals and why do we sometimes fail?

I talked about this in a previous post and video, SMART Goals. In addition to this, here are two more videos that talk about goals.

I love this video. Matt Cutts’s enthusiasm is inspirational. Although I did my charity challenge before I saw this video, I think that my challenge is a perfect example of something we can achieve if we really try and have a reasonable 'deadline' (meaning a 'time limit').

Thanks to Kylie Barker, I saw this video about setting goals.  According to Derek Sivers, telling everybody about your goals isn’t a great idea because apparently you feel less motivated to realize those goals after telling people.  Do you believe this?

I do!  I think this is true for me sometimes.

Examples of Failure

Before arriving in Argentina I decided that I wanted to do the Buenos Aires Marathon.  I told people about this goal and I asked people where I could go running.  Unfortunately the marathon is in October and I won’t be running in it.  I gave up training about a month after I arrived in Argentina.  I know I can do a marathon but somewhere I lost motivation, maybe because I told everybody about it.

Here is a second example.  After the 1000 Charity Challenge I decided that I wanted to do a more physical challenge.  I told people I would train for 1 month and be able to do 100 push-ups in 2 minutes.  Unfortunately the deadline for that was August 6th... and I gave up training after about a week.  So obviously, I didn’t complete that challenge.  Maybe I did not have the motivation because I told everybody about my challenge.

Examples of Success

I ran the Brighton Marathon last year.  I trained with some good friends as well as by myself but I didn't tell many people that I was going to run the marathon.  I didn't want everybody to know in case I didn't complete the race.

I scored 87% in the memory challenge for charity.  When I did this challenge I told everybody about it but I told people so I could get help (lots of people gave me words to learn) and start raising money.  My motivation here was to achieve the goal so I could help a charity.  I think this helped me because I knew that if I stopped, I would be disappointing a lot of people.  In this way, my goal was not only for me.

Another thing that helped me was that, as you see in the video, there was a very public event to test me at the end of my month of study.  I didn’t want to look stupid and I couldn’t give up.

You can talk the talk, but can you walk the walk?

This phrase in English is basically a challenge: you can talk about doing something but can you actually do it?  If we believe Derek Sivers, maybe it is better not to talk about something until after you have finished it.

I am very interested to hear people’s opinions and experiences about this. Please comment below.


Post a Comment

Newer Post Older Post Home