Why I Should Remain Flexible with My Goals

Your life is subject to constant change. Sometimes the changes are small, and sometimes they’re bigger. The things I have planned for myself for tomorrow — things that I’m certain that I’ll accomplish — might end up being postponed tomorrow because of a meeting that started late. The fixed plan I had to get some things done has already developed its first small crack. In such situations, stubbornly holding onto the plan will tend to lead to more stress rather than to lasting success and happiness. Know that there’s an enormous danger in being stubborn, in that you can adopt an all or nothing attitude and simply not start on something because you’re not sure that you can finish it. That’s just not good.

When you start working on new plans, then you should mix your intended outcome with a good amount of flexibility. With a new intention, it’s not about doing everything perfectly and making zero mistakes from the first moment. It’s about building up a habit. You give your body and mind something to take in: This is important to me, and I’m going to stick with it. Moreover, to ensure that you are successful in doing what you want, you should jettison any habits that you connect with a feeling of failure.

The following points can be helpful:

1. Begin in small steps: From the very start, make sure that in spite of having a big goal, your first steps remain small. This is the absolutely essential in guaranteeing your long-term success. There is no faster death for a new intention than initial steps that are tiring or demotivating. You can also read a blog post about this here: https://medium.com/@goalify/success-is-not-one-giant-leap-3f8b168088de#.mhsj3p9gx

2. Hold fast to the goal, not to the path to getting there: Once on the way to your goal, try not to just stubbornly plug away at it. Experiment with your steps. Have you planned a 5km run for today, but you arrive home from work much too late? Then dial your goal down to 400 meters, put on all your running gear, and jog around the block one time. It’s not the 5km that will make you successful, rather it’s the mind that holds fast to an idea: Nothing can lead me astray from my goal!

3. Use interruptions as a boost and not as an excuse: Let’s say that you know in advance that you cannot work on your goal. Simply take a break during this time. You did not fail at your goal, instead you have simply accepted that you will not be able to work on it. This has nothing to do with manipulating your statistics, rather it is a clear and conscious decision. Where others lose enthusiasm when they encounter a setback, you make yourself more resolute because you made a clear decision. (In elite sport, breaks are actually an integral part of any training. There’s nothing worse than showing up tired and overtrained to a competition.)

4. Never lose sight of the fun in what you’re doing: Regularly check in with yourself to ensure that you are moving toward your goals with joy and excitement, or if you are instead just holding onto something and refusing to let go. What might be the final result for you if you end up achieving your goal at the end of the series of step you’ve chosen, but you are unhappy, overworked and tired? The way might not always be easy, parts may even be very difficult, but ultimately the goal has to always fill you with excitement and a sense of delight. If the way is not fun for you, then you should question the “why”…and you should come up with a good answer.

We have developed Goalify with this idea in mind — just as in your day-to-day life, you can skip a goal that you had planned for yourself, you can also do this with Goalify. Don’t attach an excuse to the interruption, instead make it a strong decision. Don’t change your goal values for a week because you are not feeling up to working on something, on the contrary you should do it because you know that your long-term consistency is much more important than overdoing it for the short-term…or even giving up completely. Don’t archive a goal because of inability, rather because you are focused and goal-oriented and you would like to have fun with what you’re doing.