Loose Ends: Goal setting

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RBC | I am getting messages from my phone about my failure to meet goals. It first started doing this shortly before the end of the year when it let me know that I had not reached my exercise goal of the week. Apparently I was not only doing less exercise than the week before but reading more. It informed me I must remedy that situation immediately by adding more time and effort to my daily efforts. My smart phone claimed I had set these goals myself when I signed on to their health app including a daily step counter. It must have been in the fine print that I didn’t read closely enough.

The goals on which I am supposed to be working are exercise and reading. The fact that I am a voracious reader, sometimes reading three or four books in a week, isn’t one that I specifically think about. I read when I am interested and when I have the time. So it seems that the reading goal that has been set for me mysteriously, and is tied into the amount of time my computer catches me reading. It only counts my digital reading however, which I only do when I am riding in a car.

My former teachers’ voices are the ones I am reminded of when I read the message. They were the ones that tried to set goals for me. If I turned on my audio computer app. I wouldn’t be surprised to hear all of them speak to me instead of the weird robot voice. The message about reading would have to be that of Mrs. Owens, my childhood librarian. It would be Mrs. Brady, my coach, as well as my P.E. teacher. After all these years, their distinctive voices come back to me loud and clear.

While I am fairly successful with goal setting on my own, I found over the years I rebel against the advice of others. This computer reminder only triggers one thought that must be carried over from all those years of being the youngest in a family of five siblings. “You are not the boss of me.”

I thought I had an important text message the other day, only to read the following message: You took more steps last week on that day than you did this week. What it implied was that I was lazier this week than last. My reaction was to leave my phone behind when I walked later that day.

I remember that old saying, “You get what you pay for.” Everyone used it in a negative way and in the world of modern technology, you have to realize that this often holds true. We might want the convenience that all of the newest gadgets, but when they seem to intrude just a little too far into our personal life, you not only get what you pay for, you get more!

By Dolly Viscardi | Special to the Herald Times