Are you doing the work for what you think of you, or other people?

Building on last week: have to versus get to


How much does the type of goal you have help or hinder you from achieving it?


For example, if it's an intrinsic goal (something that is deeply important to you, adds to your values, enhances you as a person) versus an extrinsic one (it is driven by the outside world).


Let's be clear, there's nothing wrong with having either or both types of goals. Although sometimes your commitment and compliance with the actions needed to achieve them can be harder if it doesn't fit well with who you are, or want to be, as a person (your values).


Ways you could approach any health or fitness goal that is designed to make you feel better, for example (many other goals available).


Intrinsic

I want to eat/exercise in this way to:

  • Improve my health markers and have a better quality of life

  • Feel more comfortable running around after my young family

  • Have more energy to focus and truly enjoy my job that I've worked hard to get

  • See what my body is capable of doing if I was better fueled and could move more easily


Extrinsic

I want to eat/exercise in this way to:

  • Get compliments from peers

  • To look good in the dresses other people wear

  • To look good on the beach on holiday

  • To be like x person at work/social because they seem well liked

  • Look like people I see on social media


In my experience, whilst the latter are totally justified and definitely make us feel good in the short term. They can feel difficult to commit to because they're nice to have moments.


Whereas the intrinsic goals can be harder to stick to because they're much longer term, but tap into something that truly matters in our beliefs.


A good way to look at this could be, to set yourself a big goal (extrinsic) but break it down into smaller sections that bring with them a little bit of encouragement and external validation from our peers (intrinsic).


It certainly makes the process more enjoyable to think about fueling your body well to throw a 75kg d-ball over your shoulder or getting your first pull up, because it makes you feel like a bad ass. Rather than restricting yourself to fit into a certain size bikini on the beach. And the worst bit about the bikini/clothes is that every company has different sizes, so it's impossible to have a tangible goal.


Look at your big goal, what is it that drive you to get there? How does it align with who you are as a person? How can you tie it more to your values?



How I look at it?


For years I set goals at the end of each year for what I'd like to be able to lift by the end of the year. I was part of a very competitive gym, so part of this was driven by wanting to be amongst the best, not really about whether it was what I wanted. But it did make me feel bloody good being strong.


Then as the months went by, I would check those numbers and realise I hadn't made the progress I hoped for. Whilst I'd have enjoyed training in the moments, those numbers then took away from it when I looked back. I started to feel like I wasn't making progress, even if I was injury free, moving better, feeling better, enjoying seeing people at the gym. Even if I was making progress, just not the finger in the wind guesses I'd made.


I realised that most of those goals, and some that come fleeting into my head from time to time now, are largely based off what other people can do. Or nowadays, what I used to be able to do. Like many, my level of satisfaction can reduce very quickly when I start to compare myself to others.


This year I set the goal of purely enjoying my training. Sounds simple, I know. Even a little fluffy. But realistically, I achieve my best when I'm enjoying myself and not stressed. I also can't account for the impact my work schedule will have, or injuries that linger.


My goals are about being a person that I'd want to spend time with, that feels like a bad ass moving some weights around. And would look good drinking a beer on the beach.


How do you find goal setting and sticking to them? Do you notice that some goals are easier to stick to and mean more than others?


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