Setting ‘stretch’ goals

One simple set of goals I have for each week is packing lunch for myself at least three times a week.  The real goal is more like “Lunch must cost less than £3 at least 3 times a week.”  This is one of the small strategies I had for saving money in the run up to launching my own coaching business.  I would never consider such a step without a safety net of savings to support me, just like anyone who is launching a business or considering a career change should have a financial cushion.  Michelle Ward, the When I Grow Up Coach, calls this the ‘Breathe Easy’ number.  My low-cost lunches are a way to help me breathe easy.

I don’t meet the goal every week.  I’d say I do it 2 out of 3 weeks typically.  But I do £3-or-less lunch at least twice a week nearly every week, so I’d say that’s still a win.  \o/ (<– My success dance.)  After more or less meeting my lunch goal for about six months, I opened the goal tracker app I use to find much to my surprise that I hadn't actually set the goal for three times a week.  I'd only set it for two.  So for six months I'd been merrily chowing down on inexpensive (but healthy!) lunches three days a week MOST of the time, going above and beyond my original goal!

If I'd remembered that I set the goal at only 2 days a week, I probably would have found 3 inexpensive lunches a week a big stretch.  I would have gotten in my own way.  But instead, my not-so-elephant-like memory meant that I found myself doing much more than I originally thought I'd be capable of.

The lesson for me is that I should be bolder: set bigger goals.  Climb higher mountains.  Go longer distances.  I'll probably surprise myself with what I can do.

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