Goal Achievement, Lessons Learned, and Flexibility

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To achieve major goals in your life, a road map of your goals is critical. I’ve mentioned that for this year, one of my major goals is to have a Virtual Literary World Tour based on books by authors from around the globe and I have been preparing for that. This goal is very important to me, and one that I’m committed to achieving, and now that I have started to read the books that I have selected, I know that I am on the right track. But I am also learning some lessons that I’d like to share with you.

Speed Reading Class
Speed Reading Class (Photo credit: iBjorn)

Having goals, and implementing them is seldom easy, and we have to be flexible. For instance, my plan for the most part, is to read a book a day, and I decided that I would limit what I do for a couple of months over the weekends so that I could read four books during that time. Life was going swimmingly until it threw a few curve balls into the plan. I had two memorial services to attend since the start of the year, one during the week and the other on a Saturday. I didn’t think it was appropriate for me to attend the services and rush home immediately to read books because I know the family and comforting them was more important. In addition, the church that I attend is grappling with a lot of changes and I am on the board so we have had quite a few extra meetings, which has cut into my evening reading time.

Additionally, there were a couple of instances when I was mentally exhausted after doing client work, that even though I love reading, I wasn’t in the mental space to read anything even if I was being offered a million dollars. So I lost some of my momentum, but I’m still reading and enjoying the books.

I have always known that to succeed in bringing my Literary Tour to light, I have to read faster with a high level of comprehension. I have been using a speed reading app on my phone, and some of the reviews said that after two weeks you will see an improvement in your reading speed, and I am happy to report that I have. I took the Iris Speed Reading course in the fall of 2010, and one of the the key things that you learn is to read multiple words at a time, and I have been practicing this. Overall I am reading faster, but not as fast as I’d like.

I wrote a blog post about How to Read a Book a Day for 30 Days, and that’s very doable if the books are short, like the ones that I chose. For my project, however, many of the books are over a thousand pages in length. So the question is, how can I honour my commitment to myself and read all the books on my list for my Virtual Literary World Tour? In Yesterday’s post, “Why Reading Children’s Books Is Important,” I emphasized the necessity to assume that the solution exists and go out and find it.

I have that mindset, and surprisingly, I received an email about a PhotoReading course by Paul Scheele. I thought that was important because I first read his PhotoReading book about eight years ago, and I posted the review on The Invisible Mentor in 2009. The system outlined in the book has always intrigued me, but I always believed that it was too involved and complex to learn from a book. The company, Learning Strategies, recently developed a PhotoReading online training course. I purchased the training course on Saturday, and I called the company and spoke to one of the trainers to find out where I needed to start to be able to accomplish my reading goals, and they were very helpful. I started the course last night. I want a “speed reading” course that is natural and intuitive so I will let you know if the PhotoReading course allows me to achieve my ambitious reading goals.

The big lesson here is that having major goals in life is important, and goal achievement is important as well, but there are times when we have to be flexible, and change things around based on the feedback we’re getting. My inability to put my life on hold for a couple of months so that I can read my designated books is feedback, so I have to make changes in response, and that’s what flexibility is about. If you have goals that are not unfolding the way you visualized them, take the time to figure out different ways to achieve your goals by being more flexible in the ways you execute them. It’s worth it if those goals matter to you.

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