Saturday, June 18, 2011

Bite-Sized Success

I am a fan of the Triple Crown Races.  I watch it every year, hoping this will be the year.  And after the second race has run and my hopes are dashed, I usually stop watching.  But this year I watched the third race, the Belmont, and I noticed something.  The announcers had the same level of enthusiasm for each race no matter the fact we lost our chance this year for a Triple Crown Winner.  His level of enthusiam for the last race was great as I heard for the first.  That made me realize I'm missing an important point.  Yes, having a Triple Crown Winner is amazing and inspirational, but each race is worth celebrating the victory on its own merit.

And this realization brought home a lesson from a book I'm reading, Women, Work, & the Art of Savoir Faire by Mireille Guiliano.  It talked about the importance of short-term goals.  Amongst other advice given, she wrote that "setting and managing our own expectations defines success and a path to balance and happiness [...] [D]on't get too caught up in long-term definitions; chew on manageable short-term goals and benchmarks or you will only get frustrated, depressed, or worse."

I think I need a short-term goal system. In fact, I know I do.  Even random confluences are popping up around me, in which I responded to two different threads on a writing community about using short-term goals instead of long-term.  Someone is trying to tell me somthing, and I am ready to listen.

You see, in the past, long-term goals were enough.  Ten years later, now, they aren't.  So while riding in the car to work a few days back, I came up with some ideas on how to implement it.  One of which is inspired by several sources, such as Julia Cameron's Artist's Way series, in which she talks about affirmations.  Even Mireille Guiliano suggests patting yourself on the back after achieving a short-term goal and then plan the next.  Anyway, not long I was working on my Bible studies, and I picked Genesis.  The Bible study guide drew my attention to the fact that at end of each day of creation, God saw this work was good.  He did this despite knowing his work was not yet complete, that there was more to come.  But still the day ends with "it was good."  So, why not I?

I'll combine the advice from above, and I will figure out a schedule.  What is needed to get a certain length of work done.  I'll figure out what to write each session or each day, pad it well, and then I will forget this end-goal date.  I'll focus instead only on what I need to do in this session or that day, and at the end of it I'll write, "It is good."  Positive affirmations on bite-sized successes.  I'll not focus on the finish line that seems so far away, but the little milestones that litter the path, and I will savor that simple but important victory.  That's something I haven't done in a long time, but I know is needed now.  After all, if I savor the small victories, eventually I will reach the big one too without even worrying about it.  Well, maybe a little, it's in my nature--but at least not as much.  :-)

(This post took 42 minutes to create, from conception to posting.)


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