I had a conversation with a friend over the weekend about goals.
Goals are great for keeping you motivated and on track with your training and nutrition, and people who are quite consistent with their eating and training are often very good at setting and then working towards goals. This is a good thing obviously, but equally it can cause us to put unnecessary stress on ourselves.
See when we are very motivated to achieve XYZ it can become easy to start comparing yourself to others, to start picking holes in our own progress and under valuing our own results. It can also become difficult to recognise that as your goals differ from other people’s what their success looks like and what your success looks like will also be different. Even more so as your goals change what you measure results on might change at the same time at which point it can become even harder to accept the subsequent changes to our body or strength.
Added to this, most of us generally take on board what other people say and think about our bodies with minimal questioning. So if those around us comment on say our weight when we have been training to increase our strength (as opposed to trying to lose weight) it can be difficult to remind ourselves that our weight isn’t important to us because that isn’t our goal.
What I’m trying to articulate here is that at a really basic level setting goals is a great start to a fitness journey but for people where fitness is already part of everyday life we can sometimes get confused about what our goals are and what they mean by paying too much attention to other people’s opinions and other people’s goals.
For me, previously my goals have been running orientated and next year I’d like to pick that up again, at which point my training and nutrition will need to reflect that. Right now though, if I am totally honest I need a break from a specific goal. I’ve spent the last few years chasing one goal and qualification after another and need a bit of a break. I actually just want to train and eat to feel good.
I often say I’d like to be leaner, but if I’m honest right now I’m no willing to stop eating cake in the quantity I do or train more often or for longer that I currently do, so I’m not likely to get leaner than I currently am as I don’t want to change my current lifestyle.
That will change- probably next year I will reset everything and work towards a running based goal. But until then if I see someone smashing out some PBs, running marathons or looking stage ready and feel that sense of failure that I’m not in that condition right now I need to remember I’m not in that condition because I haven’t trained to be in that condition and I haven’t trained to be in that condition because that is not my goal.
Set a goal by all means. Set one that means something to you. Then work to that goal and don’t be swayed by what other people think, say or are doing. And if you change your mind and change your goal that’s fine, you can always readjust your own goal posts.