Why goals suck

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Well, not so much. But anyway ...

Today's Spark Coach motivation is to ask myself, about my goals, "Why do you want to reach those goals so badly and how will they change your life?"

Um ... it won't.

Will I be happier if thinner? No. Happiness isn't about what size you are. If you're not happy now, getting thinner won't do it.

Will I stop being tormented for being fat? No. I'm not getting tormented.

Will my health improve? Probably - but immeasurably. I don't suffer any ill effects of weight now.

So how will it change my life if I achieve my goals? It won't. I'm still going to be the same happy, positive, caring, generous, loving and well-loved person that I am now and (hopefully) will always be.

This is why sometimes it's hard to keep those goals so in mind. It's not going to be life-changing. And I think that if you think it will, you'll be sorely disappointed when you get there.

Do I speak from experience? Yeah, I've been there. I lost 40kg a few years ago, and slowly gained about half that back. I'd like to get back to where I was. I know what it was like at 75kg weight, I know how I felt, I know what my life was like then.

It was the same as now.

But less pizza.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    One thing my goals gave me was healthier hobbies. Instead of watching tv programs and movies, I am out running and cycling. I am the same person, no doubt, but I think I am spending my time on this earth in a more productive way.
    2766 days ago
    These are some good reasons I suggest for people to transition away from weight and the scale, and to some performance-oriented goals, whether it is to run a fast 5k, become skilled at a sport, or be able to perform a 2x body weight snatch.

    The best scenario is to develop goals in an activity that is FUN. Because then the reason for training becomes to HAVE MOAR FUN, which is a goal that is at least somewhat motivational for most of us.

    Getting caught up in the mentality that "I have to diet / watch my weight forever" is a self-imposed prison. To be truly successful, I think one must stop thinking about "maintenance' and start thinking about performance and fun. Most people talk about making this a lifestyle change... but then don't really suggest to people how to achieve it. As far as I'm concerned it shouldn't be dieting, or weight, as a lifestyle. Heck it shouldn't even necessarily be "fitness" as a lifestyle--there are too many types of fitness, too many ways to express it, and it's just a vague goal. "Performance at X" is motivational, measurable, progressive, and non-obsessive.
    2838 days ago
    It depends on the goals. All my goals will extend my life and make my last years more enjoyable. So they don't suck. Will they be lifechanging? Some will. They have already helped me attain more clarity and focus, in addition to being able to do much more and feel soooo good.

    Even the time I spend on measuring, tracking, exercising, etc., are actually kinda fun and don't suck either. I'm loving what my goals have helped me attain.

    There is that old saying that if you have no destination in mind, you have now way of charting out your journey. Goals are just short term destinations that helps one find the best routes on their journey.
    2885 days ago
  • no profile photo CD12088077
    Interesting thoughts- personally I am total against the idea that when you are thin/run an 8min mile/wear a size 2 you will be happy. Truth is, if you are unhappy you will be smaller version of your unhappy self.

    But I think your goals will change your life. For instance, if you engross yourself at the gym, you will increase your social circle to health conscious people (if you didn't have this already it could be a huge life change). This would mean holidays aren't just about drinking at the pub and dancing on the bar, but about rock climbing, skiiing, marathon training etc.

    it will mean a longer life for you. It will mean finding clothes that fit and suite your body. It will mean more than just getting thin.

    When we deny ourselves so entirely to reach a goal we MUST believe that there is a greater payoff at the end of the road. If we do not believe in the large payoff- the changes will not stick. You wouldn't walk across flames for a Noddy badge, but maybe for self pride or bragging rights? You know what I mean? Pay off must be greater than the pain to get there or we just wouldn't do it.
    2886 days ago
    I enjoyed your blog.. made me stop and look at my goals and why they are what they are...

    Have a great day!
    2886 days ago
  • no profile photo CD11436898
    I think you are right for the most part. If someone's goal it 'lose weight so someone will love me', they are setting themselves up for a horrible crash and burn.

    However, if the question was "Why do you want to reach those goals so badly and how will they change your life?" Consider a different kind of goal.

    With the understanding that much of this is cosmetic, at least for those of us without any health problem, how about purely cosmetic goals/

    Yesterday I had to buy a dress for a wedding. This sort of thing used to be a harrowing process because of my weight. Finding a dress that was both the right size and looked good on someone my size was always rough. When I started concentrating on my body and losing weight, I sincerely hoped (is that a goal?) that when I was significantly smaller I would be able to, well, wear any shape of clothes and be able to always find something in my size. I very much wanted that, it would both allow me to play with that aspect of aesthetics and would make life easier.

    Yesterday showed me that I had actually achieved that goal. With the exception of clothing made for very busty ladies (something that I will never be!), I could pull off anything I tried on. My new size was always on the rack and I could tell that the clothing had been designed with my new body shape in mind.

    There is nothing wrong with a goal of 'be able to wear whatever I want'. Heck, I see you are in NZ...I'll be back in NZ over Christmas and I have a totally superficial goal of wearing a type of swimsuit there that I have never been able to before...literally because the bottom part wouldn't stay on the vast parts of me that I was trying to stretch it over :) This does change a tangible aspect of one's life.

    As a final aside, I think people do interact with me differently now. I could go into extensive detail, but it is noticeable. There are some negative aspects of it (I've had to smack people down for talking bad about other people's weight to me since I am now seen as 'skinny'; that has never happened before. Yuck), but for the most part it is positive and I like it.
    2886 days ago
    Interesting perspective. I always like reading your view on things, it really gets me thinking!
    2886 days ago
  • MPLANE37
    In my experience, goals never suck. That includes my fat loss. I look at myself in the mirror, and wow. I fall in love with myself instantly. I become happier. It helps. I don't really crave any food. I am not deprived at all.

    Even when I struggle to reach my too-high-for-my-talent-goal, I still notice that I get better at it. That too makes me happier.
    2886 days ago

    Comment edited on: 8/18/2012 10:25:33 PM
    I think a lot of people have the idea that losing weight will somehow magically fix all the things that are wrong with our lives. Unfortunately, the truth of the matter is that our weight doesn't have as great an impact as we want it to. Skinny people have issues with bosses, trouble getting hired, relationships, and such just the same as fat people do.

    It's a lot easier to blame getting passed on the promotion on your waistline than to admit you suck at multitasking, or the person who got qualified really was a better choice than you.

    My goals are not related to my weight, actually. I thought about this the other day; suppose I never lost a single pound again? Suppose I stayed this weight for the rest of my life?

    I'd be okay with that. I'm not where I want to be, but honestly, I'm in better shape than I've been since college. I have NEVER been able to lift weights like I do now. I've never been as devoted to being *healthy* as I am now.
    2886 days ago
    LOL! Well, my goals WERE life changing- losing the weight changed me entirely: I've made a career out of fitness.

    I guess it's all according the the individual.
    2886 days ago
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