To be clear, I’m not a motivational speaker. I don’t have a trove full of wisdom that I draw from when someone asks me a question. For one, I’m only 26, you cannot expect too much from me there. And two, I have just as much if not more (thanks anxiety) worries and questions about this world as everyone else. I just call things as I experience them and half the time I write, I’m actually writing to myself. Call it a form of therapy, but it’s pretty effective.
In the past couple weeks I have made the transition from grad school finals to summertime. In other words, I have gone from 60 mph to 0 mph. From being full of purpose and driven, to being regrettably slovenly and slothlike. It is damn hard to summon internal motivation when external motivators have been riding your ass and nipping at your heels for a whole academic year. Nevertheless, I am forcing myself to develop routines - I lacklusterly search for part-time jobs, color (adult coloring is in!), pack the apartment (yes, a move is coming next week!), binge on series I’ve already seen, and think about wanting to write again. Writing, for me, is like running in a way- the hardest part is in the first five minutes and then gradually I feel myself fall into the familiar rhythm. So here’s me trying to fall back into my rhythm :)
Phew, what a lengthy introduction to a post! Thanks for sticking with me! The title of this post is about redefining definitions. I feel like I always hear people saying “I’m not ______. I’ll never be ______. I wish I were _____ but it’s never going to happen.” or some variation of those phrases. Now, while there are some things that will remain out of our reach- I am of the belief that most things can be manageably achieved through persistence and realistic goal-setting. And that last part is key. You can’t just wish you were 10 pounds lighter, a world-class athlete, or have a successful career and expect those things to fall into your lap. You gotta break it down to make it manageable, achievable, and realistic.
For example, because I have not, nor do I ever intend to, devote my life to being an olympic athlete, it is unrealistic for me to wish to become an Olympian one day. However, there is a more manageable goal nestled in there- why not just work on being an athlete/athletic? Is that realistic- yes!
Now I have my realistic goal: Being athletic.
Next, I break it down further. What am I going to have to do on a daily/weekly basis to achieve this goal? For me, that means running about three times a week and doing weight-bearing exercises two times a week. How did I come up with those numbers? Well, besides the fact that my future profession practically necessitates that I google these things a TON, more importantly these numbers are realistic for me and my lifestyle. (Especially seeing as I’m doing a whole lot of nothing these days ;). Also, I make sure to factor in a couple days off each week because the body needs the rest. The costs of pushing your body too far too fast outweigh the benefits, believe me.
So there you have it: my daily/weekly goals: Run 3x a week; weight-bearing exercise 2x a week
Now, if the thought of setting goals excites you (as it does me- call it another form of being an organization freak), you could even break this specific daily/weekly goal further down. Examples of this would be choosing to run 3 miles two days out of the three and then on the third upping the mileage to 3.5 miles. Or setting the duration of your workouts, the speed at which you workout, etc... Alas, I will truly dive into goal setting in depth in a future post, but the POINT of all of this yammering is that you SHOULD NOT under ANY CIRCUMSTANCES sell yourself short. Do not set boundaries for yourself because they’ll only hinder your ability to grow. A plant will only flourish as much as the pot it is planted in allows. So choose to plant yourself (metaphorically speaking of course) on a large plot of land.
We have all heard those stories of people beating the odds, pushing themselves farther than they thought possible, and achieving great success. You could absolutely be one of those people. In fact, I’m willing to bet that in many ways, you already are that person. So celebrate yourself for your successes, relish in the pleasure that they bring, but don’t be afraid to expand the definition of who you are. Being human is about constant growth and reinvention. Embrace it.
Let me know! : What is a goal you’ve achieved that you never thought you could? Or what is a goal you’re currently working towards?