We all have goals, and since you are here on Spark People, I would bet one of your goals is to get healthier (or stay healthy, if you've gotten to that point already). You might have a goal weight or size in mind, you may want to lower your blood pressure or blood sugar, or you just may want to feel better. Everyone's goals and how they measure success is different. Many of us set a timeline for these goals, and that is a great way to stay focused and do your best to achieve it... but what happens when you give it your ALL and you still fall short? Or what happens when life comes along and knocks you on your tushy, and throws you for a loop? Maybe you got injured and it prevented you from getting in your exercise. Maybe you are having trouble in some other area of your life, and the stress has caused you to reach into the cookie jar one too many times. Or maybe it isn't something negative at all, maybe things have been going so well that you are out enjoying life, enjoying friends, and with that you have been enjoying food as well!
Not meeting a goal you set for yourself can be discouraging, frustrating and in some cases, down right heartbreaking.
I had my first taste of this heartbreak this time last year. I desperately wanted to get to 199 by the end of 2012... and it was a very reasonable goal when I originally set it. But when I hit a plateau and my weight loss stalled, so did my motivation. The closer it got to the end of the year the more I realized my dream of hitting Onederland in 2012 was no longer a possibility. It really did crush me, and when you mix that with the obstacles of the holiday season, my weight loss really stalled. I struggled for a while, but eventually I pushed forward and you know what happened...
In July of 2013 I FINALLY HIT ONEDERLAND!
If you've been my Spark Friend for a while, you know I had a huge virtual party and I really felt like a million bucks. Even all these months later sometimes I can't believe I actually did it. Did it come almost a full 7 months later than I wanted it to? Yes. Did it feel like any less of an accomplishment because it came later? Heck no! It felt just as amazing as it would have felt had I hit it in 2012!
I am struggling with that same form of disappointment as this year comes to a close... here is an excerpt from a blog I wrote on January 1, 2013.
"I have never been one to get caught up in all the New Year Resolutions and stuff, but this year I am just beyond excited! I want 2013 to be my goal year (180 and then possibly on to 170), but I am not going to be getting all crazy about it. All I know is that I will weigh less at the beginning of 2014 than I do right now, and that in itself makes me happy."
Now over the course of this year I changed my goal weight from 180, to 170 and have since decided on 160. But regardless of changing my goal... I did not even reach my original "goal weight" of 180 pounds. I really thought 2013 was going to be my year to get to my goals and work on maintaining and finding the right weight for me. One thing that I did have right is that I do in fact weigh less at the end of this year than I did in the beginning, so that is a mini victory... but knowing that I sold myself short and didn't give it my all does still have a little sting to it.
But you know what?! I WILL get to my goal of 160 because I am willing to work and struggle until I get to that point! Then once I get there, I am going to work and struggle to maintain a healthy weight range for the rest of my life. Would I like to go out on a limb and say that 2014 is going to my goal year, for real-sies this time?! I sure would. I think it is very possible that I can get to 160 pounds and work on learning what that fabulous maintenance thing is all about. I am sure willing to do the work to get there... but if for some reasons bumps in the road or other obstacles out of my control knock me for a loop... I will be just as happy and proud if I were to reach goal weight in 2015 instead!
Did 2013 not go as planned? Did you not lose as much weight as you originally hoped? Did you lose weight only to gain it all back plus more? Maybe you did fabulously and you are going to use that motivation to take you right into the New Year! No matter how good or bad this year went... it's in the past. The year is almost over and we can't get a do over of 2013. So take some time to reflect on the past year... celebrate your victories and your
moments... learn from the pitfalls and the bumps in the road so that you can handle them better in 2014! We can't get a do over, but we can start right here and right now, and do better in 2014! If there are goals you didn't reach, vow to reach them in 2014! Or do as I am doing and decide that you will get there when you get there! Of course that means we have to do the work and get the job done, but if we do that then we will eventually get to where we are going... and I am here to tell you it will feel just as good in 6 months, a year, or 10 years as it will to reach that goal today!