Here it is, the 8th day of January already, and I haven’t really thought much about setting any goals for the year. In part, I haven’t bothered because it doesn’t seem to do me any good. I make goals, then I don’t work toward them. It’s been my pattern for many years.
Yesterday morning, Chris from Chris’ Journaling Journey wrote a post titled What Do I Want? It’s about an article she read that says that asking what we want isn’t the question we should be asking ourselves. Instead, we should be asking, “what pain do I want in my life? What am I willing to struggle for?”
I wish I had thought to ask myself this question and known myself well enough to be truthful about the answers many years ago. Like before I trained to be a hypnotherapist when I don’t want everything that is a part of being a hypnotherapist. There’s way too much talking involved! And I definitely wished I had asked these questions before I spent six years trying to make myself write a book when I don’t want everything that comes along with being a writer. If I had asked myself if I was willing to face criticism and rejection over my writing, the honest answer would have been no. And promoting my work and engaging with readers via social media? Hell, no! I didn’t really want any of that. That’s not me.
This year, I’m going to ask myself those questions about each of my goals, so I can be real about them and break out of this pattern of goal setting and failing.
I already crossed one goal off my list: losing the 30 lbs I’ve gained in the last eight years. For me, with my hormonal imbalances, I know that losing weight requires eating extremely low carb and exercising one to two hours a day, at least five days a week. I could write “lose weight” for a goal. I want to lose the weight. But am I willing to eat nothing but meat and veggies and exercise over an hour a day? No! I now know myself well enough to know that I won’t do it. I don’t like buying, handling, cooking or eating meat (at least not any healthy kinds – things like bacon and hamburgers are delicious!). I cook meat at dinner when I cook for and eat with my family, but when left on my own for meals, I can’t bring myself to do it. Maybe if I liked meat it would be different, but I don’t want animals to suffer and be slaughtered to provide me with something I find torture to eat, just so I can be skinny. I won’t do it. So, I’m changing this goal to “eat healthier and exercise more.” It’s vague and it won’t get me the results I want but it’s realistic.
Positive thinking along the lines of “if you want it, you can achieve it,” or, “if you visualize it, you can make it happen,” is total B.S., in my opinion. If you’re not willing to do what it takes, it won’t happen. This much I’ve learned in years of not achieving goals.
It may say sound negative to give up on goals but it’s actually quite freeing to get rid of the ones you don’t truly want!