If you aim at nothing, you’ll hit it every time.

If you aim at nothing, you’ll hit it every time.  – Zig Ziglar

Looks like he reached his target. Without a finish line, how do you know when you're done, or how you are progressing?

Looks like he reached his target. Without a finish line, how do you know when you’re done, or measure progress?

What does that mean?
Also attributed to B.J. Marshall, this is more a truism than anything else. So many people, myself included, who just do things, without any real aim in the doing of it. If one has a plan, and a mission to accomplish, then there is a target to aim for.

However, aiming at nothing means you have no idea whether you hit it or not. You will have no feedback, and no way of improving what you are doing, right? If you can’t track your progress, how do you know if you are getting better or not?

That is the thing that New Years Resolutions help us, when they aren’t farcical. If you are serious about doing something in the coming year, what you really need do is follow through.

But by having a resolution, a goal to achieve, or a target to aim for, you have the possibility of hitting it. And if you have one, you can measure by how much you missed, and make adjustments for the next attempt.

Why is having a target, goal, or resolution important?  
No matter what you call it, this target, goal, or resolution somehow expresses the place to which you want to get. Be it an ideal weight, a particular measure of physical fitness, or a clothing size, with something tangible in mind, you can easily measure your progress.

With the end point in mind, you can evaluate what you are trying to do and how you are progressing. Without a specific goal, how do you know if you have managed to get there? And that is the whole point of having a goal, to know how close you are.

Goals also help you focus your mind on the target. Just having an end point in mind helps your mind do all the little planning things that happen in the background. Images, printed or written versions of the goal can be even more helpful. So long as you believe it, you can achieve it (within reason).

Where can I apply this in my life?
One of my resolutions last year included the usual weight loss and bump up in physical fitness. I have managed to lose a little over 30 pounds (but may have picked up a couple over the holidays). I have also gotten about half-way through the Couch to 5K running project.

While I missed my 5K before the end of the year, I am well on my way to doing it by Spring of 2013. I know exactly what I am going to do, and have a pretty good idea of how I am going to get there. I just have to watch my pace, as I don’t bounce back as easily as I did when I was younger.

With my weight, I’m in a holding pattern until I can put together a plan for my time that includes getting to a health club on a regular basis. Then I will work on my body fat composition and muscle measurements (circumference), not my overall body-weight. A different measurement, but still something that can be measured.

What are some of your thoughts for the New Year? Do you have a clear picture about what it will look like when you have achieved the desired result? How will you measure your progress? What, specifically, are you trying to get accomplished?

Grab some paper and write a few of the more important targets down. Write down the things you were considering in the prior paragraph. How will you know if you’ve accomplished the goal? Write down either a detailed description, or a couple of clear indicators that will let you know you’ve arrived.

How will you measure your progress so you can tell if you’re getting closer to the target, and at a reasonable pace? For each of your targets, write down what are the steps between where you are and where you want to be, and when you’ll get there.

If you’re going to lose 30 pounds by summer, how many must you have shed by the end of January, February, March, etc? The long term plan should be flexible, and the detailed plans should be short term, even month by month.

Now select one of your targets, perhaps the one you feel is the best mix of importance and success. Have you tried before? If so, what issues were the toughest to overcome? What else have you thought of to try since then? What plans can you come up with to help maximize your chances of success?

With all that on paper, you should be in pretty good shape. I asked you to start with one, because I feel it is better to do one thing very well, than a dozen things poorly. If you feel up to trying two, or have something that won’t take that much away from your other target, great!

With the coming of the New Year, I hope you will rededicate yourself to the examination of your life, and to improve it where you can. I believe we can all do better, and I intend to do so in many aspects of my life.

Determine your target, take a shot, measure the miss, improve your methods, repeat. It really is that easy.

From: Twitter, @_inspirational_
confirmed at : http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/78121-if-you-aim-at-nothing-you-will-hit-it-every
Photo by lululemon athletica

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3 Responses to If you aim at nothing, you’ll hit it every time.

  1. Daniel Good 3 April 2013 at 1:47 am #

    I’m encouraged by your discussion of setting goals to help you reach them. I see you wrote this over a year ago now and was wondering how achieving your weight goal is coming along.

    Kindly,
    Daniel

    • philosiblog 3 April 2013 at 3:21 am #

      Well, that’s a mixed bag. I’ve shed the fat I wanted, but haven’t gotten as far with the wight lifting and running. All the usual excuses plus some minor injuries to the big toe and a shoulder. My overall health, to me a far more important measure than my weight, is much better than it was a year ago.

      Thanks for asking. Keep after your goal, and you’ll get there. Just be sure to analyze the results and adapt, right?

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  1. Why I Created a Bucket List - 2 June 2015

    […] of my mottos in life is, “If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time.” Zig […]

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