Improspectives

Improv skills lead to success

Introverts and Goals

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One frequent mistake introverts make is to frame our goals in terms of how others perceive us. Doing so gives others control over our feelings of self-worth, which is exactly the opposite of what we should be doing. The other side of the coin is that we have to be honest with ourselves about our contributions. If we don’t add value to a relationship or a business, we shouldn’t expect to be rewarded.

Over the past 12 months, I’ve started using “To Do” lists to track my tasks for a day. Yes, they seem outdated and hokey, but they have helped me focus my efforts. Some of the tricks I use to create beneficial lists are:

  • Make it easy to tell when you’ve finished a task.
  • Make your goals personal. You can’t control how others perceive you, but you can control how you perceive you. Goals such as “I’ll work out for an hour four times a week” are personal and measurable.
  • Write down other things you accomplish and make them part of the list.
  • On a calendar, check off each day you complete your list. This is Jerry Seinfeld’s technique–he wants to write for an hour every day and draws an “X” in the box of every day he does so. Now he doesn’t want to break the streak. In a similar vein, one of the keyboardists from ComedySportz Portland has completed over 800 New York Times crosswords in a row, the seventh longest active streak.
  • Forgive yourself if you don’t quite make it through your list. You’re human. Be kind.

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