One of my favorite movies, and listed in some of the top 100 movies, is The Good, The Bad and the Ugly. This is great Western, starring Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef and Eli Wallach, as gunslingers, leads to a climactic three-way shoot out. If you have never caught the film, it is worth the watch (it does include acts of violence). I am not writing a movie review today, but using the film more as a metaphor. I know that we are only one month into the New Year, but want to provide the early update on our goals. Last year, late in the year, I provided an update of ZERO, as it is impossible to provide any measurement on achievements if we do not take the time to measure our achievements (or lack thereof).
In Project Management, we have to be able to identify barriers to success. Identifying these hurdles at the beginning of a project helps prepare on how to handle them once they appear. With the correct planning and foresight, we can mitigate the barriers once they rear their ugly heads. The barriers to success of my personal goals are easier to identify than at work; all I need to do is stand in front of a mirror. I have always felt that if one stands naked in front of oneself, there is nothing (and nowhere) to hide. At that point, we can see the truth, or keeping in theme, the good, the bad and the ugly of where we are in life and what we truly are. If we take the time to take stock in ourselves, we can see the positive directions we are taking (the good), the negative directions we are taking (the bad) and the truth of where we are at in life (the ugly). It is easier to look away then to face our greatest foe – ourselves.
I am sure that I am not alone when I say that I hear the phrase, “we’ve always done it that way.” Whether at work, in a social setting or in our personal lives, we become accustomed to our daily rituals, our monthly activities or our annual events. In other words, we find comfort in our habits (be they good, bad or ugly). Change is hard. I make no bones about the fact that last year, I failed in achieving my goals and I did not change any habits. Taking action is important. Sticking to the action is more important. Even small actions might be too big in one shot. Whether you believe in the philosophy in “The Slight Edge,” written by Jeff Olson, or “The Compound Effect,” written by Darren Hardy, or other thought leaders’ writings on improving our habits, the truth is small changes made over time can have big impacts.
The moment of truth, do I look into the mirror every day and stare down The Good, The Bad and The Ugly? Not every day, but, maybe weekly. This way I can review / measure how I have done. For example, by developing new habits, sticking to a plan and measuring how I am doing, I am within a half pound of my weight goal and exercise 10 – 15 minutes five times a week. Yesterday, for the first time, I went to the gym with Debbie. I am not patting myself on the back, yet. I would like to lose a few more pounds, then maintain my weight, and continue transforming my body (no upper body pictures yet). As Walt Kelly’s cartoon character, Pogo, pointed out, “I have met the enemy and he is us,” or in my case, me.