One thing we must realize is that the words “goal” and “deadline” have quite different meanings.
A deadline is the latest time or date something must be completed. A goal is the object of a person’s ambition or effort; an aim or desired result. See the difference? Want to know how often we confuse the two? Most of the time.
Sometimes deadlines are a necessity, especially work related ones; however, not all situations require one. Self-improvement in any form usually does not, although we love to set them anyway. “I am going to lose 30 pounds by Christmas Day”, “I am going to get into those jeans before my class reunion”, “I am going run that 5K next week even though I’ve never trained for it.” While those things are possible, they are probably unrealistic.
So here’s a novel idea – set your goals but leave the deadlines out of it. Here’s what happens – you continue to work toward that goal, but you do it as though failure is not an option. Without the deadline, it isn’t WHEN you’ll get to the proverbial finish line, it’s a PROMISE and BELIEF that you will.
It sure takes the pressure off and stops the daily and weekly obsession with the scale. I know for myself, it has helped. Now I realize I signed up for a 90-Day Challenge but I have never set the 90th day as the “end”. I always have had it in my mind that this is a springboard to change – I have an idea what I’d like to achieve in those 90 days, but those are simply guidelines.
So next time you strive for something which requires planning, by all means – make a plan; however, let’s call it a goal and not a deadline. Deadlines are negative inspiration, goals are positive ones. Act as though you cannot fail – then go for it.
And while you’re at it…be positive.