On Improving,  Observations

One Small Goal to Restart

Over the past four-five months, I’ve felt unsuccessful with my health goals. I gave up on my running and exercising goal (surprise) and apparently, it’s been weighing on me unconsciously. To get out my slump, I tried to replace the abandoned goal. However, I kept listing bigger goals, goals I should do, and bucket-list goals. The result? No goal was pursued and I remained frozen.

This is the first lie that perfectionism tells you about goals: Quit if it isn’t perfect.

― Jon Acuff, Finish

While pondering my dilemma for a few weeks, I kept noticing and trying to maintain the little streak counter on my Headspace app. The app displayed my 12-day meditation streak. Great, am I close to a medal? Yes I am! Ah, I can do 30 days. And that’s how I set and accomplished my 30-day mediation streak.

A Silly Goal

This silly goal was not in my Bullet Journal as a goal or task; and no, my BUJO is not beautifully decorated. I knew internally if I did note my “silly goal,” I would put too much pressure on myself to get this new goal done. So I kept this goal as a “no-pressure goal”, a secret, if you will. Accomplish the goal and you get a medal on the app. Miss the goal and nothing changes. I completed about 45 days.

On day 46, I was too excited about my victory and completely missed my morning mediation. I was refueled with self-belief. The only strong motivation was that I simply needed a small win under my belt. A small enough win that would start the engine back up. Jon Acuff talks about our need for perfectionism when completing goals in his latest book, Finish: Give Yourself the Gift of Done.

The Audiobook

After listening to the book, I could see how perfectionism was holding me back from pursing a new goal. How could I start a new goal when I couldn’t even finish the previous running goal?

“…developing tolerance for imperfection is the key factor in turning chronic starters into consistent finishers.”

― Jon Acuff, Finish

In March, funny enough, I had set a loose running goal—run 2-3 times a week and ideally run a 5K each time, if possible yet, I kept pressuring—myself to catch up. The truth is, it’s very hard to try to make up for lost time.

Now, with a small victory and smaller health goals, I continue to move forward. It’s time to finish.

Question for you: What is one small goal that you’ve recently accomplished?


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Writer and creator of a character called Subbie. I'm host of the Move Up Podcast, dedicated to all things that help improve your life, one step at a time. I enjoy reviewing blog tools and apps. I send a weekly newsletter with updates and tips.