You Didn't Reach the Goal, But You're Still a Success

By , SparkPeople Blogger
Instead of being thankful for the things I can do, it’s much easier for me to get frustrated about the things I can’t.  I’d love to be able to run an 8 (or even 9!) minute pace comfortably.  I’d love to be naturally flexible without having to work at it, and it would be great if I had endless energy for my early morning workouts.  I demand a lot from my body, and honestly, it gives me a lot in return.  I think I need to take a more positive attitude towards my body and my accomplishments.  How about you?
It makes me tired just thinking about all of the things I do on a daily basis.  I take care of three wonderful (but exhausting) children.  Most days I’m up at 5 a.m., either working out or getting work done before the kids get up.  I try to make the most of my days, whether it’s getting things done at home, having fun with the kids, or working on something for SparkPeople.  I know there are thousands of women out there just like me, and many with even more responsibilities on their plates.  Yet, I still find reasons to criticize my lack of progress or the fact that my body doesn’t look like it did before I had three kids. 
Every day I see posts on the site from members who are frustrated.  Perhaps they aren’t losing weight as quickly as they’d like (“I’ve only lost 10 pounds instead of 15 like I’d hoped”), or their 5K training is progressing slower than expected (“I should be walking 20 minutes by now but I can only walk for 10”).  I understand what it’s like when your body isn’t doing exactly what you’d like it to do.  But I also think it’s important not to overlook what you have accomplished.  As long as you’re continuing down the path to a healthier lifestyle, is it okay if it takes you a little longer to get there?  I think so. 
If you can’t Be Your Own Cheerleader or your Own Best Motivator, who else will?  Maybe it’s time to start celebrating all of the wonderful things you can do, instead of being so hard on yourself when you fall short.  Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s important to challenge your body and keep working toward bigger life goals.  But if you didn’t reach the time goal you set for your last race, or you still don’t have the body of a supermodel despite reaching your weight loss goal, did you fail?  Not at all.  I’d still consider you to be a success.
What do you think? 

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Thank you. Report
This is appropriate for where I am right now. I am such a perfectionist so it is much easier to acknowldege the stuff I didn't do right instead of my overall forward progress. You don't have to go fast, you just have to go. Report
I am glad I got a chance to read this article. It is so important to shift ones focus from what's not been done to what has been done. It increases ones self-confidence and gives one chance to not be so hard on oneself and focus on ones accomplishments and give oneself a breather. Report
Wow, Ok back on track.
But always reflect what
we have done. Report
I tell people all the time to think about how much better off they are because they are trying to make healthy choices, exercise more, and live a healthier lifestyle. Try and doing better, even if you aren't where you want to be, is still a lot better than not trying at all. Sometimes I don't take my own advice and get discouraged, but losing weight is a process that takes longer for some than others. Thank you for reminding us to count our blessings more than our failures. Report
Yes, I am still a success. I haven't reached my goal for this month, but I am making progress and continue to do so! Focus on what is working people! Report
Yes! I Went Back Several Weeks Ago And Saw The Pictures of Where I Start And Where I Am Now And I Celebrated. I'm Patient and I KNOW I'm A WINNER NOW! Thanks For The Encouragement! Report
Great Blog! We are so quick to focus on the negative and overlook the positve. Report
Just beginning and consistency is a goal. Busyness of life seems to creep in and then I do not enough. I am sure as I chart , journal, and read the consistency will also improve. Report
Thank you for the reminder it reminds of two sayings I taking out of my file and posting where i can see it each
weather its 5 minutes or 15 minutes a mile is a mile
I don't have to go fast i just have to go and keep moving forward to my goal. Report
I needed this today! Thank you! Report
VERY good reminder! being self-judgmental is not a useful life attitude. Report
Yep I am my own worse enemy. Beating myself up for running a XX minute 5k instead of a WW minute one. ...... When I should really celebrate that I am running at all! Report
Good read Jen!! and my take is this. I meet my goal everyday I get up and work-in my work-outs along with all the other "stuff" life throws at me.
Somedays I can't keep all the balls up in the air and some fall to the wayside!
You go girl!! Report
Fantastic blog. It's so easy to short-change the small things that make us successful. I'll try to be more cognizant of the other successes beyond the numbers on the scale during my weight loss journey. Report
All I can say is "here - here"
Thank you for putting it so well - we could all accept and appreciate ourselves a little more, right? Report
Thank you for sharing these thoughts. They are so very true. I need to make sure that I am seeing all the things that are working instead of only seeing those things that aren't. Report
Wow, does this hit home. I really never ever give myself any credit.....maybe that is why I have such a hard time staying motivated. Time to get out of my head! Thanks for this! Report
Agreed. This is a wonderful post - thank you! Report
I totally agree. We can be our worst enemy at times. When things don't go as I would like them to go, I accept that as a challenge and I work to achieve where I want to be. Report
Awesome thank you ! Report
You are so right. If only this was as easy to do as it is to read! Report
Hi. Up at 5:00 am? 3 kids? Runner? OMG? I think the best thing we can do for ourselves is be solution-focused rather than Problem-focused. That's what Coach Dean Anderson taught me and he wrote a great article on it, but I don't know the link. In any case, keep on Sparking, you're amazing, just like all the other Spark moms out there! Report
This is one of the best lessons we can ever learn. Report
Thank you for the great reminder. It helps to remember that every small action is a victory. It's a journey, not a race, to good health. Report
I think you are so RIGHT. It's all about the things we can do and not the ones we can't. We should celebrate the little victories. Without them then the BIG ones would not happen. Report
Thank you very much for this blog, after reading this it is truly a lesson learnt. We always look at the things we are not able to accomplished, hence we forget all the necessary steps it takes us to get there. I have a different out look on life now I will be very thankful for all I achieve, even if I didnotmeet my goal. Report
Thank you for this. You are so right. We do need to be our own cheerleaders. It is so hard for me to look at what I am doing good or right or what I have done so far. It just seems like I focus on what I have yet to do or making myself better or faster at something or how much weight I haven't lost. You have inspired me to "change" my way of thinking. Thank You 8) Report
I like this - take credit for how far you actually have come and if you don't meet your goal, look at where you've been, pick yourself up and keep pushing ahead. If you just beat your self up for missing your goal you won't get anywhere. Report
Jen, I needed to hear this today. Thank you for sharing. I have taken this to heart. Report
Its good to celebrate the good things and also to stand in the truth of what we are, an honest self assessment can be the open door to our dreams. Report
While it can be very frustrating to reset my goals on a regular basis, I have to remind myself that I am a long way from where I started. Just a few years ago I couldn't run 100 yards and now I have run a 5 K and am planning on doing another. It certainly takes work to look at how far you have come rather than what you haven't done yet. Keep working on the plus and the negative will disappear. Report
Love this! Enjoy the journey! Report
Yes, for sure we need to celebrate where we are, and focus on the positive.

Usually no matter how bad things might seem, we are still better off than a lot of other possible alternatives! Report
Definitely on target. More positive praise for myself is a good thing! Report
You're right. Instead of beating myself up about how much I've been eating lately I should be congratulating myself that although I've been eating like a horse my weekly workouts have enabled me to limit my weight gain to a pound or two. And once I have forgiven myself maybe I'll feel more like eating sensibly! Report
Definitely taking this to heart. You could have been writing this to me personally. Thanks! Report
Thanks LMCBUD! Report
I have always been "it's all good, Life's Good!" on the outside, while on the inside I was always punishing myself for letting my health and my wieght get out of hand. I think learning to be my own cheerleader will be a big help! Report
You are right-we have to be our own cheerleader! Report
I've started and stopped so many times over the years. The one thing I have learned is to give myself credit for "doing" each day rather than getting upset when I mess up or neglect myself. So you have a bad day, what are you going to do "right now" to make it better???? Keep positive and appreciate all you CAN do. Report
I try to evaluate the situation based upon the truth of my effort and the end result. If I really didn't give the effort my all and I missed the goal, that is a failure. However, when I've really applyied the action plan thoroughly, then the effort was a success but the measure of the end result was a failure and an opportunity to use a different action plan next time. Report
This certainly hit me. (I'm kind of the glass 1/2 empty type.) -- So I think I will start a list of the things that I've improved, changed, learned AND applied, friends made, etc. that have occurred over the past couple of years of this journey. Those are all really good, healthy things that I've intentionally added into my life.

And probably the most important of all: It IS a LIFESTYLE! Report