Setting Realistic Goals
by Lynn Hill
I've found that the process of setting goals and the accompanying list of tasks "to do" in order to accomplish the goal, is essential in reinforcing my intents and purposes. Virtually every motivation guidebook includes at least one chapter about the proper organization of one's tasks and goals.
It is usually suggested that it is critical to maintain a list of tasks, with a distinction between those which are completed and those which are not, thereby moving some of the required motivation for their completion from the tasks themselves into a "meta-task" task list. The viewing of the list of completed tasks can also be motivating, as it can create a satisfying sense of accomplishment.
Personally I like to use my Daytimer to write down such task lists, inspiring ideas, and to record my daily activities and contacts. Most electronic to-do lists have this basic functionality, although the distinction between completed and non-completed tasks is not always clear since completed tasks are sometimes simply deleted. I use these lists mostly for work, but even if my goals are related to climbing, such lists can be helpful in planning how to get everything else done in order to focus on my training objectives. The motivation to execute my tasks comes much more easily when the choices are clearly laid out.
When it comes to planning my training objectives, I try to be realistic in choosing goals that are attainable. It’s much better to feel many small successes after having achieved modest goals rather than feel frustrated or discouraged when the goals are not met. Goals serve as a kind of guide toward which I can direct my efforts in a way that inspires growth and adaptation. No matter what the results, the quality of my effort is what gives the experience meaning.