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Planning = Panic!

Monday, May 06, 2013

Many Sparkfolks write enthusiastically about participating in various challenges. They get such good results and build great relationships in the process. But every time I consider joining one I more or less freak out. To say "I will do such and so at such and such a time and I expect specific results" makes me very uncomfortable.

You know those floating white spheres of fluff with a seed at the center? I've always identified with those. They drift. They are at the mercy of forces they cannot foresee or control. They have no defenses and no plans. When I was young, this image of myself made me angry; I wanted to be able to take charge of my life, direct it as I wished. But every attempt went awry, leaving me in more difficult circumstances. Later my attitude towards those seeds changed. They cope perfectly with the unknown. They ride on the crest of forces they can't control. Without resisting, without trying to control, they thrive.

By nature I prefer to keep my options open. That's an understatement, actually - having everything planned out makes me feel choked. The personality assessment called Myers Briggs Type Indicator shows me to be a Perceiver - curious, spontaneous, random, flexible, less concerned with managing things than with understanding them, and certainly not decisive.

My weight loss goal is set out at 18 months. When I try to tighten it up, figure out where should I expect to be in 9 months, or in 3? I get antsy & don't want to think about it. It feels like I am inviting failure by structuring my expectations. I haven't been using the food tracker yet - partly because I'm saving it to be a shiny new thing to start using if my motivation flags, and partly because all that planning and intention are so daunting.

Do I need to try to push back against this? Or can I be successful in spite of it?
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Good you know yourself...quite well it seems!
    You will find something that works with you. I like to set personal challenges for myself and do experiments. I really don't like the set challenges either.

    1743 days ago
    I could not say - just that I think I am the same, my efforts to set specific goals (I will lose this much in this time...) mostly throws me into bingeing, I have to concentrate on process, what I do every day whitout thinking about the result. It was a help when I found "ArtsA" "Artists anonymous" a twelvestep group for creative people who get stuck - the eleventh "talent" says:" We are aware that the process is a learning experience, We know that the outcome is in God’s hands and may well prove more fruitful than our immediate goal. We take time each day to be thankful that the results come in God’s time, not ours. We bless each day that we are given to pursue our art." (if you are not fond of God you can put in any higher power instead of that name) - to me it is the same - result goals does not work, process goals does.

    Liked your blog, helped me, thanks!
    1806 days ago
    I think you can be eminently successful and it really helps to know who you are. When I first got involved with Spark People it was because I had given up managing myself. Utterly defeated, I decided to put myself in the hands of a program.

    The challenges work really well for me. I got involved with them because the one area of life that I've done well is school---I liked the structure of homework and lessons. I needed to have deadlines and data imposed on me. It's been the only part of my life that has not been dark and chaotic. Teachers mostly liked me because of my obedience and my knowing how much to participate.

    My weight and my health became a matter of life and death and I approached Spark People like the little cowering kindergarten student I was in 1955--determined to do things right and never to offend the teacher.

    The organizational part of Spark People is working for me. I think that I've shut down many of my options over the course of my life. I was never able to take charge of my life except in the schoolroom and even then things have gone awry at times.
    Knowing yourself and what works for you is important. I am bemused at myself and my limitations but I've decided to submit to the discipline of something / somebody other than myself. My own best efforts have been ludicrous.

    The kind of analytical, metaphorical, analogic thinking you are doing will most certainly help you to find ways to succeed!

    1813 days ago
  • STR458
    no planning here. I don't use sp tracker because it's too much busy work. I ate it Its about 400 calories- take it or leave it is my attitude. (If) your leaving a good trail then don't mess with success. On the other hand if you don't like the results- by all means hop on board the detail train.

    anyway- that's why I like minimum requirements instead of maximum limits-
    have a nice Monday!

    1813 days ago

    Comment edited on: 5/6/2013 7:34:20 AM
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    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.

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