Where Do Old Goals Go to Die?

Perhaps the most important thing you can do when you set a goal is to decide what happens after you achieve them or fail in your pursuit. This past three months has been a hectic one in many respects. One of the many things on my agenda was to lose weight. I’m not overweight by any means. In fact, by BMI (Body Mass Index) I need to gain weight but of course these fancy weight scales tell you how much body fat you have and I was something like 15%. Over the course of roughly three months I continued to modify and experiment with my diet. I started with portion control and settled on eating meat for breakfast to jump start my day and make sure my body didn’t think it was starving despite not having as much food as before.

This was all followed by regular and intense exercise. For the final leg of the program I was hitting the gym everyday for 9 days straight and met all my targets. Body fat on last measure is 10% and I look like Kate Moss in her hey day. Whether that’s good or bad is another story but it was intense.

Any serious undertaking is more or less a battle fought within. Get on that machine, you order yourself. Hell no, you want to die? Then there’s a soothing devil there to caress you once manage to trick yourself into self-punishment. Hey, you more than deserve that bag of chips, isn’t the whole purpose of exercise to not have to watch what you eat? Of course, the voice of reason knows that the most strenuous of cardiovascular exercise sessions can’t possibly amount to a bag of chips. Sad but true.

We can all give our best every now and then but the real challenge is to be consistent. The challenge of consistency is the need to micro-manage yourself, to be the drill sergeant from hell there to yell into your ear a tirade of sweet obscenities until you finally decide that getting the bastard of your back is infinitely more comforting than avoiding the task at hand.

The biggest danger of these arbitrary goals is achieving them. What do you do when you achieve a goal? Or even when you are forced to give up? The smart thing is to have another greater goal on the horizon, to keep setting milestones and revising your grand design on a constant basis to align with your progress. However, the more intense the effort the more harder it will be to reign in the “celebration” phase when you let everything go to hell in a hand basket. It’s especially true with physical fitness because the benefits fade away much quicker than they come.

I guess there’s a reason why obsessive-compulsive types with just the right amount of talent go on to achieve great things because they’re never satisfied even when they hit their limits, they persevere and keep pushing. I turned to a variety of people for inspiration but I’m definitely not them. Time to look for new goals and revisit my long-term strategy.