I am a goal-setter and have been one since I was a child. I remember at 8 years old looking through a JCPenney's catalog and planning how I would design my first home. I then asked my mom for posterboard and made a goal timeline of everything I wanted to accomplish by 30 years old. I was eight. My timeline was such:
-Graduate from college by 21
-Have a career by 25
-Married by 25
-Mother and homeowner by 30
I knew EXACTLY what life I THOUGHT I wanted to have and because I am so driven I fought to reach those goals. And I did, to my dismay. Let me tell you how my quest to live this perfect life REALLY ended up.
-I did graduate from college, and it was a very proud and rewarding time of my life. Yet, I left still wondering if I found my true passion. I am still gald I did it.
-At 29, I am NOW in the position of my life that I enjoy. I have been with my company since 22 years old and at 25 I was a Financial Consultant with a path in front of me, but I wasnt happy. I would cry at least once a week and had to talk myself out of quitting everyday. But I had an office and was respected by my family and friends. Thankfully I stick it out and built my skill-set to get to where I am now. And ultimately, this is not my end goal either.
-Married by 25. I hate that I even had this goal. Having the mindset that I needed to have a ring on my finger led me to marry an abusive a$$hole for the sake of being married. We actually married at 23 and were divorced by 26. And yeah that home that I had to own? We bought that at 23 years old too. It was foreclosed on three years later after my husband secretly withdrew our mortgage payments to pay on back due child support for the child that he secretly had just six months into our marriage. AAhH goals. They SUCK don't they???
-I have always planned on being a mommy. I think THAT is my ultimate dream. A career cannot fulfill me the way being a mother can. Well my ex and I had 3 kids. Two did not survive pre-term labor (Anthony and Nicholas), Alicia survived being bor 12 weeks premature but ultimately passed away 19 months later. I am CONVINCED that God chose me to be her mommy and I learned so many lessons from her. I learned YOU CANNOT PLAN LIFE.
YOU CANNOT PLAN LIFE FOLKS. You can prepare. And goals are a good way to direct your actions but even when you do everything 100% right, it still may not turn out the way you wanted. I did everything "right". Went to college, got a husabnd, got a house, had some babies. Yet there I was at 27 years old broke, single, alone and living with my mom. That experience humbled me. It wasnt until yesterday that I made the connection with that and my weight loss.
I CANNOT PLACE AN "END DATE" FOR MY WEIGHTLOSS GOAL. Yeah it would be nice to be 100 lbs down in a year and I am sure people do it everyday. But what are you willing to give up to get there? Would you be any less happy to be 100 lbs down if it took you 18 months? And how much better would your quality of life be if you took the pressure off of yourself?
WHAT WAS A GOAL AT ONE TIME, MAY NOT BE YOUR GOAL LATER. I aimed to be 180 lbs. Currently I am sitting at 222 and I looked at myself in the mirror and realized that 180 may not be for me. I like what I see now. I know there is still room for improvement. But as I near 180, I think I may be happier at 200 lbs. I may not. The point is not to be so tied to a specific number that you don't see yourself at your best. Not everyone looks good at a size 2, 8 or even 20.
BASICALLY, YOU WILL KNOW WHEN YOU GET THERE. But you will only know if you are present during this journey. Don't get so overtaken with the process of losing weight that you don't see what's going on around you. What good will being thin be if you lost sight of your husband, kids and friends along the way? Or if you micro-managed the process so tightly that once you hit maintenance, you don't know how to cope? Setting goals will give you direction but you need to direct the course and know when to end the ride.