I remember a few years ago I bought a condo. The first thing I wanted to do before moving in was to repaint the interior. So naturally, I was overwhelmed by the eighteen million different shades of white available at home depot. So I chose some flavor of white I thought would be appropriate, and was surprised when the guy at Home Depot asked about a drop cloth.
A drop what? I asked? He explained that I would need to cover the carpet, and put tape up over all the electrical fixtures, and put tape over all the door jams. And probably tape the drop cloth on the floor, as being a first time painter; I would have a lot of splatter to contend with.
I quickly realized that getting the place ready to be painted was going to take nearly as much time as the painting itself. When the guy started talking about primer, and spackle and all kinds of other home improvement language that I didn’t understand, I left before things got out of control.
There was a guy I was talking to in a seminar who was telling about this book he had read on goal setting. The guy in there said there were two different kinds of goals. One kind was milestone goals, or goals you could measure once you got there, like losing weight, or a certain score on the golf course.
The other kind of goal he referred to as horizon goals, or goals that are specific. They are more like a direction that you want to go to in life. Like the horizon, the more you walk towards them, the more they will stay off in the distance and give you a direction. As long as you can see the horizon, you know which way to go.
And if you are wondering about what to do when you are surrounded by horizons on all sides, it helps to align your horizon goals with your milestone goals.
For example, if a horizon goal was to live a healthy lifestyle, then milestone goals could be a specific weight or dress size, a specific time in a 10K, or a certain amount of pounds to bench press. Your horizon goal would always keep you thinking about eating healthy and getting enough exercise, while your milestone goals will give you something specific to shoot for, and measure and celebrate once you achieve them. The beauty of this is that if you have a solid horizon goal, then every time you achieve a milestone goal, you can simply choose another one off in the distance a few months and keep on truckin.
A great way to motivate yourself is to place the milestone goals in the future, and then drift up into the future and look back on the goals you will have achieved when you get there to give yourself some ideas of how you did that. Then when you come back into the present, you can bring the information from your future self of how you achieved the goals that you want to accomplish. Kind of like having twenty twenty hindsight for something that hasn’t happened yet.
So when I finally finished painting, and took down all the tarps and mats and tape and whatever else I had put up, it looked pretty good. One of the best feelings you can experience is when you stop, stand back and look at something you’ve accomplished. It’s one thing to receive unexpected gifts from others, but it is quite another to admire something you’ve created through your own efforts and inspiration.