Saying I will try to do something is a recipe for failure.

Compare the following two goals:

  1. “I will try to run every day this year.”
  2. “I will run every day this year.”

The first one, with the words “try to”, includes an allowance for me to not run and still meet the goal. I don’t really need to run every day to succeed. I just have to try to run every day. I can skip the run one day and then convince myself that I tried and I’m still on track!

The second one is far better since it says that I will run every day in 2021. It’s black and white. I either run, or I don’t. There’s no trying involved. Just a lot of running.

Crutch Words

When I set goals for running, work or life, I am cognizant of omitting crutch words like “try to” or “may” or “hope to” or “plan to”. Setting and committing to goals means having goals without weasel words that allow a fake measure of success without truly accomplishing anything.

Set goals that are specific, measurable and direct.