I wish I was more of a wordsmith. That’s exactly what I this article is all about.
While I said “I wish”, my real desire is to have a vocabulary which would allow me to effectively illustrate the thoughts within my head, so others could understand them.
But alas, to have such a skill, I would need to read more, study more and practice more. To read, study and practice, I would need to make a commitment to time and effort to develop those skills which would mean that I would have to sacrifice or otherwise limit some other activity to make this commitment. That is not something I want to do at this point. So if I don’t want to put in the effort, is this something that I really want? No, it’s not.
When I set out to go to the gym, my goal wasn’t weight loss. I didn’t care about my weight, I cared about mobility. I feared being in a position where I couldn’t take care of myself because my weight and strength were not in balance.
I think it’s important to make these distinctions about what we really want or don’t want. Only then can we focus our efforts in a direction to get the results we want. Fitness encompasses so much more than our physical well being and to make meaningful change in our lives we need to be honest with ourselves.
As with any relationship, to build a relationship we need to listen. That is true as it relates to our own inner voice as well. Listen for those qualifying words like “I wish”, “I can’t”, “maybe later”, “I will try” when we talk about ourselves. Can you replace those with words like “I will set a goal”, “I can”, “right now”, “I will do the best I can”? These seemingly inconsequential words will have an impact on how you live your life. It moves from a passive voice to an active voice.
Once you have identified what you really desire, ask yourself why and see if you can break it down into smaller pieces. Weight loss as an example; Rather than setting a goal to loose weight, think about why you want to lose weight. As I mentioned, in my situation it was mobility. Knowing that, I could set goals such as touching my toes as a mobility benchmark. Your goals may change, broaden or be redefined as you progress.
Try to set goals you know you can achieve while still challenging yourself. If you find that you can’t achieve your goal, re-define it rather than abandon it. I will use the gym as an example. If you have some social anxiety about going to the gym, maybe the first goal is to get to the gym parking lot. That’s it. The next goal might be to get in the door and walk to the back of the gym, then back out again. Check. Then the next goal might be to do one exercise. Keep challenging yourself. Change is difficult but as you become more and more of the person you want to be, the more rewarded you will feel.
The title of this blog is Identifying Your Goals, not achieving them. I hope the take away from this is that you take time to identify the goals you want to pursue and the ones you don’t (at least not right now). Set yourself up to succeed by setting goals that you want to achieve.