It seems that almost daily I read how important it is to have specific and well formed goals. Goals with timelines, goals with reasons why, goals with easily imagined steps to completion. We are taught and encouraged not only to know our own, but to communicate those goals to others while identifying what their goals are as well. All this goal seeking gets confusing.
First, often we have a big picture goal which is not only non-specific, but which misjudges where the issue to be solved really lies. Or we have a bunch of “I’m not interested in” goals. to quote a few I’ve heard, “i’m not trying to be Charles Atlas, I don’t want a (insert star’s name here) butt, I’m way past worrying about a bikini, I don’t want to be muscle bound, i don’t want to run a marathon….
Possibly you’ve heard them or said them yourself and a myriad more.
Personally I think expressing thought in negatives is poor hygiene, but leaving that aside, I wonder if most of us know what we DO want. Why do we go to the hair dress, the doctor or the gym. And then maybe some of us are afraid or embarrassed to say why we are there. You know, maybe I do want to run a marathon but doubt the probability, Or maybe I do want to don the bikini, or look like some version of Charles Atlas.
The we have the mysterious and all powerful “Motivation”
The problem with motivation is that its often fluid. Sometimes we are externally motivated and sometimes internally. Some times we come to the gym with Goal X and nothing else matters, but later we find that we return for camaraderie, or stress relief, or because we saw someone changing right before our eyes and wondered “why not me”.
I think what keeps people at the gym, or on the trails, or climbing walls is profound and simple at the same time. One day they find they can do what previously they could not, and they become enchanted with the possibilities and start to put some of those possibilities in the probabilities pile.
Sometimes misunderstanding a basic can lead to confusion when setting goals, and developing trust with people is more important than ironing out the goals. Its hard to believe that getting stronger will help with balance issues (barring underlying medical conditions) until you feel it working, but the feeling that the person in front of you honestly cares about you and wants to help you improve is the key to believing that you’ll get there.
As for me, today I am making a concentrated effort not to “throw work at it” when it comes to my goals. In many things life requires sensible measured action, and I can be a lot all or nothing. This leads to impatience, frustration and sometimes injury, or in my case re-injury. 6 weeks of slow steady progress in far better than sitting out another one because I pushed too hard. And changing how I work, to meet my current goal is just as uncomfortable for me as it would be to anyone who might trust me to help them meet their goals. THIS is the place where I ask myself “how bad do you want it’ and not when I’m considering throwing on five more pounds…
Have a great day, enjoy the weather and you life, and stay tuned.