So my friend Courtney is a HUUUUGE fan of a really lame local morning talk show, called AMNW. Her love for this show is somewhat endearing (she knows the hosts names and trivial facts about them), so this morning she convinced me and our other friend, David, to sit in the audience for a live taping. There we were, sitting in folding chairs with four other people, clapping as loud as possible trying to pretend we were at least 15 people. I figured we might see a new recipe get cooked, or get some really terrible fashion advice, but it turned out the theme of the show was resolutions and goal setting. HOW RELEVANT, right?!
I don’t claim to be an expert of goal setting. All I can say is what has worked for me in my personal life, and I can add that I have worked as an Instructional Coach, which is basically someone who coaches teachers into making goals and meeting those goals – but I still wouldn’t claim to be an expert! So when this woman, Patti Dobrowolski, gets up there with a giant whiteboard to teach about how to achieve our goals, I’m assuming she’s going to have something worthwhile to share (note: here’s the video if you want to see what I’m talking about).
She led the host through a “goal setting” exercise, dropping a lot of fancy brain science terms, claiming that sketching pictures of your goals was THE way to achieve your dreams. The host says, “Eat healthier,” and she just sketches a picture of “eating healthier” without ever asking him what that means. Then she says making lists DOESN’T WORK when making goals. The vein in my forehead was popping out at this point.
WORST. ADVICE. EVER.
I’m guessing a lot of you would like to eat healthier. I am constantly tweaking my diet to eat healthier. But if you can’t specify want you want to do, how can you ever expect to do it? For instance, I know if you join Weight Watchers, they expect that you eat AT LEAST six servings of fruits and vegetables a day (amongst other things).
Or if you want to train for a half-marathon, you don’t just draw a damned half-marathon. You should be following a training schedule, which allows you to not only build up to running that distance, but also prevents injury.
Need I go on…?
Tons of people make resolutions this time of year, and by February they’ve already given up! If you read my blog, you know that I’m a huge proponent of not just relying on yourself to achieve a goal. I insist that you make it public to everyone you know; that you surround yourself with other like-minded individuals; that you enlist the help of someone with more expertise. THAT YOU MAKE A LIST! AND REFER TO THAT LIST ON A REGULAR BASIS!!!!!
I’m sure there are other ways of setting and achieving goals, and actually I even believe “positive visualization” has it’s merits. After my knee surgery, I used to spend my last waking minutes every night imagining myself running. But I also went to physical therapy and trained with a personal trainer on a regular basis. I am CERTAIN that if I just imagined running without following the prescribed plans of experts, I wouldn’t have made it back to running.
Sorry if I’m on a rant, but yeah, I could have given a better interview. Geez.