I stink at goal setting but I have a few
Friday, May 28, 2010
I stink at goal setting. I will spend time on thinking up goals and write them down on here and promise accountability. Things like cutting down on salt, trying a new DVD, researching new light recipes or bike this many miles or ST this many days. Then a few weeks later I will be on my page and glance at those goals and think - huh am I on my page - that sounds like a good goal. Total loss of focus.
I know that goal setting is crucial to many people - they set up weekly, monthly goals and then track themselves for a realistic snapshot of their progress. God bless you all that do that. I would make them, never think to look at them again and then struggle to find where I listed them - blog? page? Comment to someone? Then I would feel guilty about not following through. I have children - they give me enough reasons to feel guilty to fill my week already - I need no more sources of guilt.
I do make general goals of losing weight for graduation or reunion - or see when I fit into a favorite outfit. But again they are just general and I don't get hung up on them. (I was psyched though in all honesty when I had a goal of getting to 160 for my daughter's graduation and that day when I left I weighed 159.8. I felt like it was a gift from the scale god to have a good weekend - and I did).
I also plan for my week. I always have an idea of what meals will be like for today and tomorrow and I try to picture my week and what days I can slot in exercise. But these to me are planning tools and not goals. They fall under daily maintenance.
In truth (for me and me only) I have a problem with goals. If I don't make that goal what do I do - turn around and eat Triscuits? Give up? Eat bonbons? And really this is Spark lifestyle not Spark Olympics. I am not doing this to impress myself or anyone else or to compete with anyone. As I read on INDYGIRL's page - you don't have to be perfect you just have to stick with it. So if I mess up a day or week or if someone is sick or is in exams or if I get only 30 minutes on the elliptical and not 40 - well that is my life. I may not move forward but I plan on sticking with it.
The other problem that I have is with big picture goals. I ask myself "what do they mean"? I have been rudely staring at women's bodies lately and thinking is that achievable? I wonder how much she weighs or how much she works out or what her body type is? Is that my goal - a body shape? Is my goal a certain weight - what do I look like there? Should I vainly be focused on shape and cellulite and does that make me a bad person? What does that weight mean for my health? Do I lower my risk of heart disease and cancer (father) at that weight? Do I lower my risk of early-onset Alzheimer's (mother) at that weight? If I don't get to a weight that makes an ideal body (and what is that anyway) or ideal health (whoa - what is that and does that include mental issues) will I be disappointed?
So short term goals I can't do because I do not have that kind of focus and long term goals are too amorphous for me to nail down what I am aiming for let alone how to achieve that aim. So what do I use for motivation and accountability? Right now for motivation I am using the old fire bucket line. Someone ahead of me on Spark (both in time and reasoning) has already done so much of the heavy lifting with their progress and thinking. They freely share that bucket of knowledge and pass it to me. I make it my own, toss it around in my head and pass it back to the next person in line. One of my most rewarding moments was when I read a comment made by a relatively new member that I was friends with (shout out to DANCERBRAT531) to someone completely new and stuck. She told them to be patient, make small adjustments, look forward not back. And there the chain moves on. The bucket so freely shared to me is being passed on. And if that is not motivating!!
Accountability. I am trying to achieve accountability by not backing down on being honest with myself. I have gained so much weight in the past while waiting to get up the nerve to weigh myself. I am trying to look into all of those dark corners where self lies are kept and be honest with myself. They only serve to hurt me in the end so I need to expose them to myself and deal with them. So yes - Mary - you do need to exercise today and yes Triscuits have calories.
So despite my goal not to have goals - I will make some goals. I will eat in a way that I can maintain and enjoy for the rest of my life. I will be careful and focus (to the extent of my capabilities) on what I eat and how much I eat. I will try not to either splurge or deny too much. I will exercise (which I truly do not like) but I will not make a strict schedule. I will keep trying to find a fitness activity that I can become passionate about. I will not set a final weight loss target. The combined efforts of my eating and exercise will make me land somewhere. At this point that should be in a healthy BMI. I will try to be happy with that weight from an aesthetics standpoint and continually strive to make being healthy a priority.
And most of all I will continue a goal of learning more about health - both physical and spiritual. I am so fortunate and I need to cultivate an inner world of thankfulness and calm.
Update: Someone commented that they find short term goals very helpful - like what to eat today or what days do I exercise. I agree wholeheartedly. I mentally put those things in the category of planning not goal setting. And I do that. My husband and I plan what days we can work out in the evening. I plan meals and what I will eat and stock the frig. I was talking more about goals like cutting down 25% on salt or make five new light recipes.