Setting yourself a goal and creating a plan to achieve it, is one of the best ways to improve yourself on something and to gain experiences. Neither the goal, or the plan have to be exact and strict, but having them makes it easier to get up and start working towards something. The decision to achieve the goal by improvising at any given situation is a good example of a solid plan that can be used. Purpose of all this is not to achieve the goal, or to follow the plan thoroughly, but to get yourself started. Evaluating your goal, plan and the reasons for choosing such goal is very important along the way. If you end up abandoning the exact goal you hoped to achieve at first, or if you end up scrapping the plan you spent so much time working on, doesn’t mean you have failed somehow. Quite the opposite in fact. It means that you have learned something about yourself or the subject, to better understand the situation to even make such decisions. There may be factors that you didn’t even know of when setting yourself for the original goal, or your situation may have changed so dramatically, that achieving this goal holds no value to you anymore. You may also find a new, better goal to achieve while working towards the original one. The experience you gain by doing all this often surpasses the benefits of stubbornly forcing yourself to achieve a goal you have set yourself for, but don’t want to continue with.

Forcing yourself to achieve a goal, that no longer holds any value to you or one that you simply don’t care about anymore, just for the sake of achieving it can be a waste of your time and resources. Nevertheless, if you don’t set yourself goals to work towards, you will miss all the experiences to be gained by striving for them. It is also very important to learn to recognize the situations where you just want go give up for pure laziness or a brief lack of motivation. You will need to evaluate your reasons for giving up on something carefully before taking action. Everyone has bad days, and on some days even the good things in life feel like a burden you don’t want to continue with anymore. Hasty decisions are rarely the best ones, therefore it is very important to have patience when evaluating your motives and the benefits that achieving a set goal has to offer.

Let’s say I want to become a better runner for instance. If I decide that my ultimate goal is to run a marathon, it is quite easy to find instructions to achieve such a goal and to start practicing for it. While practicing, I might find out that I actually enjoy running shorter distances at faster pace a lot more than running long distances slowly. Therefore I might abandon the goal of running a marathon, and start to work towards a different goal. Perhaps something like running 10 km in under 40 minutes for instance. By doing this, I will end up failing the original goal, but will instead be able to achieve a goal that brings more enjoyment and has more value to me.

It is possible, that I wrote all this just to make excuses for my tendency to set myself goals, and to give up before achieving them.

Does it mean I’m wrong about all this? That is for you to decide.

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