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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Who Needs Goals? I mean, really.


I used to be the girl who believed in New Year's resolutions.

Most of my resolutions revolved around weight-loss and I would think, "Sweet! This gives me a good 6 months before bathing suit season!"

And then a month or two in, it'd fizzle and I'd pick up my eating habits again and I'd have maybe lost 5 pounds but then I'd think, "Eh, who needs resolutions anyway?" Then the next New Year would come and I'd do it again, with that old 5 pounds plus a few more from the year.

And then I was onto myself about the resolutions and how I would fail at them so I stopped making them altogether and in fact, really came to dislike New Year's anyways since something would always inevitably happen like I'd all of a sudden become lactose intolerant while drinking mudslides or I'd get into a fight with whomever I was dating and then all New Yearses (plural for New Years?) just eventually became "just another day."

It's easier that way. No buildup. No pressure.

So no more resolutions for me. Period.

Goals, however, are a whole 'nother story. Without a goal, I'd be lost. And I learned this from years and years of unmet, failed resolutions.

Goals, and goals specifically not weight-loss centered, are powerful. They've become the endpoint in my Mapquest, the search in my Google, the North Star of my travels.

A couple weeks ago at the Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans, I issued a project to outline your goals.

It sounds really simple on paper, yes. Outline your goals. The thing is, a goal on paper is just like a resolution in your mind. You have one big giant idea of something you want to do. And then, that's pretty much it.

No way to get there, no outline, no built-in motivation, no blueprint and then in the end, a giant looming goal that you haven't reached and again feelings of failure. In fact, several people were afraid to do the project because of this very reason! They didn't want to fail! And I don't blame them. One big ominous goal out there hanging there, looming over you is scary!

So I added a little more: Outline your goals and then make smaller, reachable goals along the way. For weight-loss, you probably know I work in the "decade" scale which for me is weight-loss in 10 pound increments. I did this because 60 pounds WAS TOO BIG OF A NUMBER! WHO WANTS TO LOSE 60 POUNDS OR MORE?!!! Not me! But 10? Sure! I could do that! That sounds reasonable! I am in!

So I'd focus on the 10.

But in focusing on the 10, I had to have more goals and now and actual plan. Because I couldn't just set a goal and not have a plan on how to get there. It's like going to New York from Florida without a GPS or map or any navigation whatsoever. Not impossible, but it would take FOREVER and by the end you'd be exhausted and probably just wanna go home.

So I'd map out what I'd do for exercise, what I'd do for changing my eating habits and being above all, how to be consistent, then work toward the goal.

I didn't always meet the 10 pound goal when I wanted. BUT I met it. And instead of calling it failure and walking away, I learned about my pitfalls and moved on. For instance, I can't give up cheese. Not now. Not ever. NEVER. So I built that into my plan. I learned that it is hard to be around my family during gatherings because our food is amazing and amazingly FULL OF CALORIES! So I ate beforehand and picked on one or two things I LOVED or I brought my own version of it. Or, I built it into my daily calories and regulated the portions. Or I hosted so that the food was all my choosing.

There were always times that everything I was doing hurt, times where I got bitter for being overweight in the first place or that my body was the way it was, there were times I was exhausted and questioned why I was doing it. And then, all of a sudden, I'd reach one of the mini-milestones and my motivation would regain speed and I'd be good to go another 10 rounds.

You see, it's not enough to make a big goal. You have to make a million little ones along the way.

So here is my challenge to you: Write down your goals. Think about them, blog about them, and map out how you will get there.

I will be writing out mine this week! I just bought a pretty pink planner from Wal-Mart and it will become my weight-loss/fitness bible.

So what about you? What are your goals? How will you reach them? We have linked up our goals at the Sisterhood and will continue to, so please post about it! Go visit some other people and see what they did!

Map it out, plan it out and put that one foot in front of the other to reach it!


Heather said...

Just wanted to say I'm enjoying these challenges, kind of in the same way I enjoy gyno. appts--I know they're good for me even though I don't like doing them:-)

These exercises make me so uncomfortable that they must be doing something good! I'm still working on the specifics part. Thank you for encouraging us to stretch and do more than we normally would.

Christie O. said...

ok this CRACKED ME UP! i know, it's painful, but yes, if you don't do it something will definitely go unnoticed and lurking beneath the surface. Wait, that's just weird. Anyway, I'm glad you're doing it anyway, despite how uncomfy it is!!

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I tri because one day I didn't believe in myself. And then one day I did.

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