Here is the thing about goals: they only serve to make you feel bad about yourself. Sure there are people out there that set goals and then work hard to achieve them, but I’m not one of those people; I’m not a fan of working hard. I prefer to do things in a half-assed sort of way and then come up with excuses as to why I didn’t reach my goals.
A good example of the chasm between me and those who work hard to reach their goals is my wife and her parents’ daily quest to walk 10,000 steps a day. Each morning they strap on their pedometers and begin their daily sojourn to 10,000 steps, each comparing where the other is at throughout the day, spurring each other on towards their goal. It’s truly impressive. It’s a daily goal that they almost always achieve and they seem genuinely disheartened if, on occasion, they fall short. I’ve considered joining in on this goal but I know how it will go:
Me: I’m going to walk 10,000 steps today
Me: (at the end of the day) 352 steps?!? This thing must be broken (said while smashing it with a hammer)!
When my wife and I first moved to Oregon I made the goal of getting in shape and climbing to the top of Mt Rainier. This was a stupid goal. It was stupid on a variety of levels, not least of which was the fact that I’m terrified of heights and have had, since childhood, recurring nightmares about falling to my death while climbing a mountain. Add to that the reality that I haven’t truly worked out since High School, and even then very sparingly, and it was a goal that I never had a chance to achieve. To my wife’s credit she has never been one to question why I never follow through with my goals, including climbing a mountain, but if she had I would have been ready with a number of excuses:
1. If I’m going to climb a mountain I should probably hold out for Mt Everest – if you’re going to do something you should really do it right?
2. It’s football season and I can’t justify spending time working out, etc after spending so much money on the NFL Sunday Ticket in order to watch the Bears lose each week.
3. I hear Mt Rainier is due for an eruption anytime now. I should probably wait until after that happens – no need to put myself at any undue risk yeah?
4. What, really, is a mountain?
5. Ever since getting rear-ended by that guy driving a Ford 950 two years-ago, my knees haven’t been the same.
I could go on and on but I won’t. It’s too lofty of a goal for me.
Speaking of lofty goals, some might say that my goal to climb a mountain is indeed too lofty and maybe I should focus on setting simpler goals. To this I can only say: “Hahahahahahahaha! If it were that simple don’t you think I would’ve thought of that befo…,”
Anyway, as I was saying, I don’t often reach my goals for a variety of excuses. In my mind I’m capable of reaching my goals, lofty or not, but there is a disconnect between the part of my brain that sets these goals and the rest of my brain. It’s as if the goal part of my brain is like Tony Robbins; it’s walking across the hot coals of my thoughts barefoot and is declaring to the rest of mind, in an extremely annoying way, that, “Nothing is impossible if you put your mind to it!” Meanwhile the rest of my mind, which is sick of hearing this jibber-jabber from the hot-coal walking Tony Robbins, replies, in a stoner-esque sort-of-way, “Settle down, man. Try a brownie; they will blow your mind!”
It’s an interesting dichotomy.
What’s even more interesting is that I continue to make these lofty goals: start my own brewery, write a book, write a screenplay, walk 353 steps a day and, yet, never do anything to achieve them – the stoner-esque part of mind must have a really good connection.
Good connection or not, I have an idea on how to fix this “goal” problem of mine: getting a medicinal marijuana card – if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em right?
I’m kidding (mostly).