One of the hardest challenges of setting personal goals is actually following through.  In my experience, many people set goals for themselves and rarely succeed.  For whatever reasons, we fail and we’re left with the unsettling feeling of failure that damages our self-esteem.

On several occasions I have set goals for myself.  Sometimes I succeed, and sometimes I fail.  While I’m happy with my successes, my failures continue to haunt me.  Why can’t I maintain a healthy lifestyle?  Why can’t I stay organized?  I set goals in these areas and I fall short or, worse, I quit.

“In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure.” ~ Bill Cosby

The whole process of striving to achieve and experiencing failure does damage to my sense of integrity.  I can’t feel good about myself knowing deep down that I’ve failed.  Even worse, I can recall the pain of failure or the fear of failure preventing me from striving to achieve goals that would greatly benefit me.  This damaging thought process has preventing me from mastering my strengths and improving my weaknesses.

‘Success leaves clues.” ~ Tony Robbins

As I ponder my past successes and failures, I wonder whether or not there is a pattern involved.  I looked online and discovered a list that made sense to me, “7 Undeniable Reasons Why Some People Fail Where Others Succeed”:

  1. They define success wrong
  2. They define opportunity wrong
  3. They define work wrong
  4. They defeat themselves
  5. They think failure is final
  6. They’re a victim of their circumstances
  7. They take ‘no’ for an answer

If I think critically, I believe what holds me back is my ability to stick with my plan.  I feel that I know what I want and what I need to do to achieve my goals, yet I continue to experience failure.

The whole topic is of great interest to me as I seek to make some lifestyle changes that I feel will benefit me greatly.  It has been well over a week since we returned from our honeymoon and while I was away, I consciously decided that I wanted to make some major changes in my life, particularly to certain aspects of my lifestyle.   It is my belief that my bad habits are causing me personal anguish and preventing me from happiness and fulfillment.  My habits are involving me in a ‘downward spiral’ that is difficult to escape from, but not impossible.

Since we’ve returned, I’ve endeavored to eat healthier, exercise, organize my surroundings, and curb my habit of procrastination.  It has taken great discipline, but even within a week and a half, I’ve already experienced some very positive gains.  I believe that if I continue with this trend, I will notice an even greater impact on all areas of my life.  This type of success feels good, and I want to find a way to continue with this trend, and avoid the pitfalls of failure that I’ve experienced in the past.

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” ~ Winston Churchill

Perhaps I should consult the list from above to determine a plan for success. However, I’d like to rewrite the list so that it reflects a more positive language:

  1. Define success
  2. Define opportunity
  3. Define work
  4. Create a vision of ‘my’ success
  5. Realize that failure is not final
  6. Realize that I’m in control of my destiny
  7. Say ‘yes’ to success

This seems more appropriate, geared towards creating success in my life, rather than celebrating reasons why people fail.  Numbers 1-4 ask for me to fully understand the concepts of success, opportunity and work, in an effort to better understand number 4, my ultimate vision for success and happiness.  Numbers 5 and 6 are about realizing that I’m in control of my success and that it’s never to early or late to start over.  Number 7 challenges me to put my plan into action, and continue to push myself towards success, even when times are tough.

My homework for this weekend will be to find some time for myself to work through numbers 1 to 4 and determine a plan for my success.  I look forward to exploring this concept further in a future post.

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2 Responses to “”

  1. RSDixson Says:

    I ran across a link to your blog on Gretchen Reubin’s Happiness Project Blog. I find it interesting that a newly married man, with (I am assuming?) no children, could struggle with some of the same internal struggles as that of a 35 year old mom of three. Since reading her book, I’ve talked to as many people who will listen, and it seems most of the people I know struggle in finding their own happiness.
    Gretchen’s book really hit home with me, as I found myself in a similar situation…with all the things I thought I needed to be happy, and unable to put my finger in what was keeping me from really being “happy.”
    I made a list of things I would like to change or improve, like yours…that was no fun, and, like you, felt worse than I did when I started. However, the list has helped me stay focused on what I would consider “problem” areas, and I’ve been able to set goals based on that list. The lost includes items like, “Be in the moment with the kids,” “become best friends with your husband again,” and the one that I dread the most…”create a healthy lifestyle and get in shape!”
    That last goal is becoming more important by the minute, as I know the closer I get to 40, the harder that will be. I truly only need to lose about 15 pounds, but my main motivation for getting in shape is wanting to set a good example for my three girls, who are 13, 8, and 2. That, and I have a list of items coming down in the genes, from heart disease to diabetes, that I’m terrified my eating habits and lack of exercise will bring on any day now. (my parents seem to be falling apart!) In response to this, my husband and I bought pedometers and are having a fun contest to see who can walk the most steps each day. I also started a little workout group at work, which has been fun, and a good way to bond with my coworkers.
    Thanks for sharing your story!I have enjoyed the first few blogs and look forward to reading about your journey!

  2. mysearch4wisdom Says:

    Hi RS. Thank you for your comment and i’m really glad you’ve enjoyed my posts.

    I’m glad to see that you’re well on your way to making some serious progress. I think it’s a great idea that you are working with your husband to achieve your goals. I can see it being something you both find fun and productive.

    No children (yet), but we’ll be working on it in the very near future. 🙂

    Really glad to know that there is somebody out there reading my posts. Hopefully you continue to join in on the discussion!

    Take care,

    Mr. Socrates

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