I was posting back and forth on Facebook with another writer recently, and he used the phrase ‘fast forward’. That can conjure up many things, but on this occasion it brought me an image of my old cassettes tapes, and a lesson about goal achievement…
I love my music, and when I first got into it back in 1979, there was nothing remotely resembling the mp3. There was not even the cd – back then it was vinyl or tape. ‘Digital’ was not a word applied to storing music. People used tapes to record the vinyl, either to have a spare (sort of legal), or to give to friends (sort of illegal).
I also used them to record my own stuff, and still have loads and loads of tapes. I keep meaning to get round to converting them to mp3, but just looking at the massive box drives home the scale of the task, so I go and have a cup of tea instead.
When you bought the official tape releases by artists, the plastic tape holder was printed, but when you bought the multi packs of blanks, they all had the same blank cover, and it was down to you to write on a label.
I have spent over 30 years trying to find certain songs on tapes! If you pick up the tape and it is wound half way through, you don’t know where that one song may be. You may not know which is the A side and which is the B side, and you may not know whether you are going backwards or forwards!
I’ve lost many hours whirring the tapes one way and then the other, getting ever more annoyed at not finding the song I wanted. This is where the goal achievement lesson comes in…
Instead of flailing around, what I should have done is taken a more methodical approach – hit either forwards or backwards, and wait til it got to the end of the tape.
Then I would know I had a firm beginning and could work my way steadily forwards until I found it.
The problem of not knowing where I was nor which direction to face would have been taken away, and I know I’ve been guilty of this with my own goal achievement.
Losing time, energy and focus, and seeing no result, can be stopped by taking that step back.
It doesn’t matter whether you are at the start of your goal path, or well down it, it will always help if keep track of where you are in the process. Get a pen and paper and write down the starting point and the end point of your goal. Then you can go forwards and work out your current position.
Focusing on your current position can remove a lot of uncertainty and distraction, helping you to work out your next step in a less haphazard way.
Saving time and energy is always a good thing, right? So, if you feel your goal is not getting any closer, think of those old cassette tapes, and hit that fast forward button (or the rewind, it doesn’t matter!)