Monday, January 4, 2010

Goals, Smoals

I don't know why I have such a problem with the idea of "goals" lately. Especially right now, after the first of the New Year, when everyone is one the "goal" train.....what happened to the year before? Oh, now you want to set some "goals"?

I looked up, online, one of the many definitions of "goal", and this one, "A dream with a deadline" seemed to hit it the nail on the head. "A dream with a deadline"....."a dream"......"a deadline".....

Maybe it's the "deadline" that I have a problem, maybe it's the "dream"..... why can't a goal be "A reality with a deadline"......or how about "factual actions with a deadline"...I don't know....

If I have a goal of losing 50 lbs, is that just a "dream"? And then I put a "deadline" on it....a "deadline" on a "dream"? Hmmnnn.... Why can't it be "reality" instead of a "dream"? It can be, and there's no rush , or "particular future date" to feel beter about yourself, no matter what you weigh....that's not a dream.

If I want to make a goal of 365 yoga classes next year, is that a "dream"? Well, the deadline is obvious....what if I don't, or can't do it, or change my mind? Can I change my mind? Or is that a cop out? What if it's not good for me to never take a day off? Should I ignore the importance of recovery just because I set a goal...had a "dream"? seemed like a good idea (goal, lol), but what's the "reality"? Am I more special if I go to yoga everyday? No, I think I'm special regardless of how many yoga classes I go to....that's reality! What do I need to prove?

What if my goal is to become debt free. Is that only a "dream"? I think the dream was spending all of that money....wake up, lol! OK, seriously.....

What if my goal is to lift a certain amount of weight, or run a particular distance in a certain amount of time...and have a deadline date to accomplish it. What if I can't, really, I can't....I'm too old, I'm injured, I'm just not as young or strong, or fast as I used to be....oh, guess what? I have a job, a family, bills, is 'lifting', or running, or competing (whatever) really that important? Does my Boss care? Does my husband/wife or kids care? What about them....what kind of goals, or dreams, do you have that include them?

What if my goal is to be a better mother/ that just a dream? Does that have a deadline?! It doesn't have to be a dream, I can make it a deadline.

What if my goal is to eat better.....could I have eaten better than last year? No! Why not? Because I didn't! If I could have, I would have....we all do the best we can, until we know better. Do I now know better? Well, I know more than I did last year, but not as much as I'll know next year! I'm doing the best that I can....we all do.

Just keep doing your best. Be your best, and you may never have to think about setting goals....about putting deadlines on your dreams......

PS I, in no way, think it's a bad idea, or silly, or dumb, to think of ways to challenge ourselves in order to practice being our best, or wanting to be better or more committed at the things we chose to do in our lives....go for it!


ajam00 said...

I think setting a goal is so that we can also have a plan of action. Otherwise I'll lay on the couch and grow wider. My problem is I'm afraid to set the goal because I'm afraid I won't make it because I've set it before and didn't make it. Achieving a goal requires effort. I want to eat more veggies, I want to plant veggies and eat the veggies plant. There's really not a deadline for that, I'd like for it to be a lifelong choice. So last night I made okra, corn and tomato gumbo. It’s cold here and that warmed me up. I also bought the ingredients to make your Rainbow Cabbage Salad. That was my plan for dinner last night and lunch today. I’m making the effort to pursue that goal.
I guess the beginning of the new year is an opportunity to reflect on our past and prepare a plan to move our lives in a new and improved direction. (Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it).

Outside of the more veggies, I haven't set any hard and fast goals yet.

By the way, did you see IRON CHEF AMERICA this week? The chefs were challenged to use vegetables from the White House garden. They were beautiful! I was fascinated by the purple cauliflower and the Japanese egg plant. They also used sweet potatoes and fennel (which I have never tried).

I always enjoy your posts.

Tracy Reifkind said...


I just wrote another blogpost inspired by your comment, but I do want to add some thoughts about some of the things you mention specifically about food....I've been thinking about that very subject lately.

I'll be back later!

PS It includes my thoughts on the Iron chef challenge. BTW I loved, loved, loved, the Iron Chef competition this past season....did you happen to notice all of the "pressure cooking" the Chefs did? I did!

ajam00 said...

Sunday was the first time I actually made an effort to watch Iron Chef. My daughter loves it. So I've seen it in passing. It always seemed to me that the secret ingrediant was something I wouldn't eat. But I was glad I watched this one. I saw the watermelon radish and the parsnips and could help but think about your past blog.

I did see the pressure cookers in this show. I think they cooked the collard greens in one of them. I was impressed that it was electric! I've never seen that before. My mother was a home economist so I am very familiar with the pressure canner and I think I remember a pressure cooker as a child but I don't know what she cooked in it.

Anyway after the show I decided to order the Veggie Queen's book and DVD. I'm currently pricing pressure cookers. I think she uses the Fagor brand but Bed, bath and beyond has one by Denmark that is very reasonable and has decent reviews. Just more effort toward the dream/reality (LOL).

I want to say "I eat more veggies than vegetarians do!"

Tracy Reifkind said...


I don't ususally like the Iron Chef because I'm not a big advocate ot fancy-smancy cooking...and Iron Chef isn't about teaching, is about showing off.... But even if the secret ingredient isn't something you think you would eat (are you freakin' crazy?), if these Chefs were cooking it for me, then you better believe I'd eat it, lol!

Every cooking "challenge" show that has time constraints have Chefs that use pressure cookers! I will eventually write a blogpost about it, but in the mean time I have to say this about the Veggie Queens DVD....I think it's a great thing to have and watch to get out of the fear of using one, and the little cookbook that comes with it is something I referrence back to numerous times for basic cooking times, especially for beans and polenta. Her cookbook, however is not something I cared for, none of the recipes were appealing to me enough to follow....I rarely use recipes anyway....but I already know how to cook and use veggies.

more to come about the IC White House episode....

leslie said...

First of all, HI! It's great to be inspired by you once again.

Random thoughts about your post:

I've FOREVER been so over the whole "Body for Life Challenge"-kind of goal setting. And I have to agree -- I'm just not sure about a target that's so defined, even though I know the "every goal has to be measurable" thing.

The quote "Reach for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars" may be more about how goals work. They pull us forward and help to expand our comfort zone. So is it a "miss" if we don't hit the exact target? I don't think so.

I have a friend who is choosing 3 words to guide her year, and I think that's how I'm going to approach 2010. The idea of having a focus (or 3 of them!) excites me in a way that I think will work.

Tracy Reifkind said...


Hey there!

As I just posted in a reply to my latest post, I may have to write a little more about this subject.

I was inspired to write this first post after reading someone elses blog about a particular goal they had made for themselves....I think it would qualify as an "unrealistic" goal...which is a crazy phrase when you really think about it....kind of....

But basically, as I mentioned in the second post, goals should motivate action, not de-motivate action, (Marks description btw), and if you find yourself beating the same old drum year after year, after year....goodness, move on!

Mark Reifkind said...


I've always used that quote a bit differently. I say " if you shoot for the stars you might get on the roof but if you don't you might not get off the ground."
I ALWAYS have a background goal( a dream with a deadline, I like that)even if I know it's years, or light years, away.
I got that way when I was training for endurance events I knew would take me eons to be able to do.I didnt care, I just needed something to get me out of bed and into the street or the gym.

To me the tag line of Nike " there is no finish line" is the real key. Win,lose or draw, the next day I'm back in the gym so it doesnt really matter.
It's trite but the journey IS the destination in my world. I just have to find a way to suit up, show up and do it.

Things change so much too when you get old,lol.

Tracy Reifkind said...


brilliant comment, as always....I'll be stealing some of that, lol!