My favorite Charlie’s Angel Lucy Liu doesn’t like the usual way women set up goals for themselves. In the July issue of Psychologies Magazine, Liu says that when you set up a goal for yourself it is hard to feel good about it until you actually reach that goal.
I know how that feels. Whether the goal is to get through the 240th day of deployment or get a job that pays more than $8 per hour or potty train a boy child (or a cocker spaniel), the process pretty much feels like one failure after another until you actually do meet that goal.
“A different way to think about it is: Are you getting colder or warmer? Is this thing that you are going to do getting you closer—warmer—to what you want in your life?” asks Liu. “Is buying this sweater that costs $1000 ‘warmer’ toward letting you pay off your mortgage?”
Warmer or colder? This is a perfect strategy for military life where our goals are often subject to so many twists of military fate that it seems hopelessly optimistic to set a goal at all. Knowing that an action is a little warmer toward your goal helps a lot.
So I’m thinking I am going to start using the Getting Warmer strategy in my own life.
- Is this pint of Haagen Dazs Coconut Pineapple getting me warmer or colder toward losing 20 pounds?
- Is reading this 178 page report on PTSD getting me warmer or colder toward writing a better story?
- Is rolling over and going back to sleep getting me warmer or colder toward having pee-free carpets?
Warmer or colder cuts the need for a ton of self-discipline in half. And learning strategies that make military life easier is one of those things that make us much warmer in the happiness department.
Navy wife Jacey Eckhart is Editor of SpouseBuzz and author of I Married a Spartan?? The Care and Feeding of Your Military Marriage available on iTunes, Amazon, and on www.jaceyeckhart.com.