Wednesday, October 3, 2012

you can fail your goal and still move forward

you can fail your goal and still move forward

The more ambitious your goal, the more difficult it is to achieve. Duh, right? But there's a bonus hidden inside that goal, an Easter egg just waiting to be discovered:

"Even if you don't reach your goal, you can make considerable forward progress!"

Take a look at what I did over the last few months..

I published my goals on this site, here: My Next Fitness Goal.

Then I published my progress each week, good or bad. If you click through to that post and read my progress updates, you'll see I hit my goal only 5 of the 12 weeks. There were another 5 weeks where I made good progress but didn't reach my goal. And then there were 2 weeks were I failed miserably.

So, if we were handing out trophies and report cards, I would have failed. 5 out of 12 means I only had a 42% success rate. But if you take a step back and look at the overall progress over the 12 week period, I actually made a lot of improvement. I'm significantly better at what I set out to do than I was 12 weeks ago. So even though I can't claim success on that particular goal, I still made a good amount of forward progress.

Never forget, the Process of Continuous Improvement is about the long-term. It's forward progress, getting better over time. There aren't any permanent finish lines - as soon as you cross one line you start working towards the next. A few weeks ago I wrote "what long term looks like". Here's a quote from that post:

The process of continuous improvement is a long term process. It's a series of tiny improvements made over a long time period. Nobody is keeping score, and the calendar keeps turning pages.

Of course I wanted to hit my goal. But what I do AFTER the goal timeframe is more important. If I hit the goal but then take 3 months off, I'd be in worse shape than if I miss the goal but continue to move forward..

-Chris Butterworth