Bree: What is your goal? Seriously. I mean, do you want to be fitter, be more muscular, be healthier, more defined, vegan, slimmer, be able to run a mile faster than you do now, be able to run a mile at all? Part of the problem with pursuing a goal is lack of definition of that goal. Sometimes it’s because we think being vague about our destination means that we don’t have to admit failure if we don’t reach it, but other times, it’s simply that we’re not sure where we want to go so we can’t decide how to get there. One of my favorite goals is “to be happy.” As it turns out, I AM. Naturally, I relate happiness to my other aspirations because I think being happy also means that I should be active, be kind, be whatever else in life is important to me. The problem lies in how undefined that goal is. If I don’t feel happy, is it because I’m not being active enough, because I’ve been cruel, or because I have low blood sugar or a fight with a friend? How would I know?
In order to successfully carve a path to our goal destination, we have to know where we’re trying to get to. If overall fitness is your goal, you need to determine what that looks like for you. Maybe you have a friend who went gluten-free and dropped 15 pounds. She says she feels a ton healthier. Is that your goal, to be healthy by living gluten-free? Or maybe your brother/sister/best friend started working out three times a week and feels stronger and fitter. Does that meet your definition of fit?
This is an issue I struggle with. I know I want to be healthy and happy by way of adopting an active lifestyle and nutritious habits, BUT, EVERYTHING sounds good to me. Well, not everything, but close. I see or hear about something fun/fit/nutritious and I’m in! Am I interested in maintaining or increasing my current level of strength-training? Yes. Want to keep running? You bet! Eat more raw foods and fewer processed foods – yes, please. Yoga? Interested in making time. More classes at the gym; absolutely up for trying. Appropriate vitamin supplementation, sure. Calorie counting…oh, no, thank you. So I guess I need to decide where to focus my energy and what type of timeframe makes sense for me to see results before trying something else or maintaining what I’m doing.
In reality, I think everyone who is looking to be healthy has somewhere near the same goals – be thinner, more toned, comfier in their clothes/skin, stronger, live longer, live better, give ex-boyfriend/girlfriend/unsupportive family the silent middle finger, attract new boyfriend/girlfriend…whatever the goal, it’s a means to the bigger picture of being happy, but in order to get there, we have to be clear about where we’re going and why.
So, in two weeks, I’ll be off of the “run a marathon” goal plan and onto a new plan. Between now and then, I’ll need to decide what I want that to be.