I’ve never been a great goal setter. I cringe as I write that because I feel like it makes me sound lazy and unambitious. Maybe I’m being too hard on myself, or maybe I just never realized I was setting goals because I would never track them. And if I didn’t achieve a goal, I was often very content to offer an excuse or justify the outcome, one way or another.
In July of 2017, I set a goal. My goal….not to fail at life. That my be a bit dramatic, but I was feeling like I was losing myself day by day to the hustle and bustle of everyday life, yet I didn’t feel like I was hustlin’ and there certainly was not any bustle!
So, I had my goal, but how would I get there? I knew I needed to make a lot of changes, and if I’m being honest, I was a little scared. Mostly because I didn’t feel like a goal setter. I didn’t have a system. I wasn’t all about tracking progress or logging measurables. I was terrible at holding myself accountable.
The funny thing is, I’m very much a ‘rip it like a band-aid’ type of person. Make a quick and thoughtful decision and move on. Unless it involves a great deal of change. Then I like to ease into things. I prefer a phased approach in a controlled environment. I may tend to be a bit on the controlling side.
Looking back, I don’t even know if I really knew what I was doing or even realized the drastic changes that I was making, I just knew I NEEDED to FEEL differently. I started with a 5am workout one Monday morning after a weekend of grocery shopping and meal prepping. On that day I made conscious decisions relating to my exercise, eating and sleep habits….and I told myself I just needed to do it for three weeks. Then I did it for three more, and three more, and three more. I chipped away at my weight and became a healthier person in 3 week blocks. The more weight I lost, the more confidence I gained. Confidence in my commitment to succeed, confident in my ability to do hard things, confident in my ability to push myself through a workout and confident in my metal game. I realized I actually do like setting goals and tracking them because it was challenging me to hold myself accountable.
Come January I committed to an 80 day workout program and completed it in April. That is one of the most motivating things I have ever done. When I feel frustrated or overwhelmed, I remind myself of the self discipline I learned during that 80 day process and I remember that with the right mindset, I can achieve any goal. So much of meeting a goal is retraining your brain and negative self talk. I had to stop excusing bad behavior or laziness and keep myself together.
It really is crazy when I think about all the things I left behind and how much I’ve changed. The following are some of the major contributors.
- I made a quick and thoughtful decision, then I followed a plan.
- I committed to getting 7 hrs of sleep every night so I could wake up at 5am
- I tracked my food and water intake so I stayed on track
- I gave up alcohol
- I grocery shopped and meal prepped on the weekends so I could stay on track
I think the most important thing I left behind was excuse making. I no longer allowed myself to sleep in because ‘I wasn’t a morning person’. I started eating healthy food because I made it a priority and pushed any ‘excuse’ out of my mind. I realized early on that I needed to transform my thinking just as much as I was physically transforming my body.
What I have learned is that goals are intimidating when you don’t have a plan. I have also learned how I feel when I make a plan and stick to it. I don’t claim to be a goal setting expert, but I’d like to think I’ve created a pretty good system to go from Point A to Point B.