Saturday, July 9, 2011

Is Your Goal to Be Good, or Get Better?

Having just written about getting healthy, I’m struck by the relevance of be good vs get better goals in the pursuit of health.  Actually, they’re relevant in the pursuit of many things, perhaps most things.  Check out Heidi Halvorson’s book, Succeed, for more on these issues.
A be good goal is one in which you are trying to show how, well, how good you are.  Getting the A, the promotion or the win is usually a be good goal.  Get better goals are those in which, you guessed it, you’re trying to get better in some way.  Learning the material that goes into getting the A, getting your skills to the next level because it’s exciting and fun and that gets you the promotion, winning the game because you know you’ve trained hard, played your absolute best and the win is just the icing on the cake, these are about getting better.
If being good is about success, getting better is about the journey.
What does this have to do with getting healthy?  You can see how it works.  A be good goal for health is to lose 50 pounds.  Look folks, I lost 50 pounds.  How cool is that!  A get better goal is to work on healthy, mindful eating by selecting a healthy eating plan and asking the mindful questions every time you want to eat something.  You know that you’re learning something, mastering something and growing as you put this get better plan into place.
It’s the same with going to the gym.  I’m going to lift 50 pounds by September vs I’m going to find some things at the gym, in the park or in my house, that I can do 3 times a week  that I enjoy enough to do week in and week out unless I’m sick or dead.  And maybe an exercise buddy would help, something you can do if you’re getting better, but is more difficult to do when you’re trying to prove you can be good. 
Consider your goals in any area.  It’s all about how you think about things.  In most cases, a reframe to a get better mentality, much like a growth mindset, will keep you moving and give you a much happier ride.
GettingBetter.  The Beatles.

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