Tuesday, January 5, 2010

the bulls-eye doesn't matter unless you are playing darts

I'll admit it. I don't play darts. I have never hunted or shot anything (nerf guns excluded of course, I do have a son). I do not own a bow and arrow. I do, however, understand the basic principle of a bulls-eye. It's the center of that ringed thing you are trying to hit. It's your target, and you aim at the dead-center with the hopes of hitting it dead center.

(now, folks, I realize I said the word "target" and some of your minds have just gone on a shopping trip--mine did too. we'll try to focus.)

Sometimes (most times?) you don't hit the bulls-eye. Sometimes you hit the other rings that circle it. That is still good...and you are obviously pretty close. Especially when you think of all the other places your arrow, bullet or dart could go.

Another confession: I don't like making goals. Never have. Even though I posted some New Year's Resolve thoughts...you'll see I wasn't real specific and I didn't use the word goal. Goals sound too absolute to me. They are measurable by definition and if you can measure it, you can see if you succeeded or failed. You either lose the 28 pounds by the wedding or you don't. You either do the 30 day shred for 30 days straight or you don't. You clean out your garage or you don't. I look at goals as a pass/fail...and I don't like those odds. So I rebel and only set "goals" when I have to. (read here: when a teacher or boss requires me to).

Okay bloggies, these thoughts are actually connected. Stay with me.

But in the last several years, I have come to think of goals as targets. There is no medal for hitting the bulls-eye dead-on. Hitting those rings that are close is still really good. But you don't hit those rings unless you aim...at the target. If you don't aim your efforts could land anywhere.

Losing 20 pounds by the wedding is still awesome even if you don't lose all 28! You would have lost very little if you didn't set your sights on the specific target. Doing 15 days of The Shred is still going to benefit you even if you don't do all 30 this time (I am assuming, I own The Shred and it is still wrapped in plastic). Cleaning out a portion of the garage is still helpful. See what I'm saying?

I realize that for me the p-words (perfectionism and pride) get in the way of setting goals. I am afraid of not hitting the bulls-eye. So I don't even shoot. Or I don't aim at anything in particular and my efforts land who-knows-where.

So, as we face a new year and we think of where we want to be when we are kicking off 2011...I encourage us to:

1) let the p-words go
2) pick a target or two (again, bloggies, not talking about shopping here)
3) set your sights and aim

Be encouraged even when you hit those outer rings--you wouldn't have even come close if you didn't shoot, if you didn't aim.

Today I am celebrating that no one is grading me on bulls-eyes. Aiming is the important part.

sharing with emily and my blog-friends over at chatting at the sky


chris said...

Whether you hit your goal or not, what's really important is the direction you're facing. You have to face the target to be able to even SEE where you should aim, and shoot. When I listen to the self-talk in my head that says, "you didn't reach your goal, you're such a loser!", I answer, "Yeah, but at least I'm facing in the right direction, and each day I'm getting closer to reaching that goal!" Practice makes perfect (only with God's help, of course)! You know, the whole idea of removing a mountain one shovelful of dirt at a time. But you never could remove it if you never pick up the shovel!
I think that God takes pleasure in knowing that my heart is turned towards him even though I often fail in my actions, thoughts or deeds to be faithful to do what my heart wants me to do.
I also wish I could put my thoughts into words as beautifully as you do my sweet daughter!!

Deidra said...

Thank God He doesn't grade us by the bullseye!

Beth said...

I always like reading your posts, but I am liking this one especially. (Especially that you recognized my immediate switch to Target the store, lol!) The P's, perfectionism and pride, well, there it is. Gotta let em go. Perhaps we could share a coffee/diet coke and help each other take aim sometime soon? :)

A Little Of This And That said...

I've yet to full get into 2010, but I have a feeling it will leave me in the dust if I don't snap out of it and soon.

Kristina said...

I really like this post. You're right, it's not about failing but that you tried at all. We will not make progress, unless we take the first step :)

Kristina said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Karen said...

You won't find me grading you, nope, nope, nope! But just follow the arrow and see how close you get....to Target...teehee..

Laura said...

YES! I agree -- pick a target.

I learned that in NaNoWriMo, where I actually penned five chapters of a projected ten chapter book.

But you know what? I'm five chapters ahead of where I was before I started! I made progress.

Patty said...

What is that quote? Something like "If you aim at nothing you'll hit it every time." I like your idea ~ at least choose a target and shoot. If we keep practicing, who knows we might actually hit the bulls eye on occasion.

Sharone said...

I can't tell you how inspiring I found this post. What a great insight! Thanks, Dawn :)

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