Our childhood is one personal goal after another. We begin to ask our children when they are toddlers, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” From the first steps, to first recital, athletic accomplishments, graduation, first job and the grand finale, ADULTHOOD. We have finally arrived. After setting and achieving all those goals, we finally get the big prize and then complacency sets in. Goal setting has been reduced to surviving the daily grind. We may have objectives in the workplace, our personal lives, or maybe a hobby, but these tend to lack the same degree of fulfillment from our childhood achievements. As adults, we lack the idealism of reaching a new potential. However, t does not have to be that way.
As an adult my little sister hired a running coach, which I thought was excessive. Why would someone in their mid twenties hire a running coach!? She had never been a runner before and was not generally into sports. She saw this as a worthy expenditure because she recognized the importance of investing in herself. It ended up being the start of many races to come beginning with the infamous “Beat The Bridge” in Seattle, a competitive 5 miles against time. She had discovered a new pursuit in adulthood that brought her that same aspiration she had in adolescence. I became envious of her drive to create a lifestyle change out of her goal.
It was one goal that started my transformation from thirty pounds overweight to fitness competitions. When I started down this venture, I thought competing would be a one time event that would catapult my weight loss. After achieving a physique that I only thought possible for fitness models, I knew I was experiencing a lifestyle change. I had a eureka moment…Goals are the building blocks that make the permanent changes in our lives. Without setting a goal, I wouldn’t have been held accountable to transform my body, continue going to the gym, and maintain healthy eating habits. I was determined to not go back to my old routine of beer, cookies and excuses.
The journey of childhood is achieving one benchmark after another. The affluence of goals is how we reached adulthood. It is easy to forget this journey is key to life’s enjoyment. As adults, we don’t have to give that up! Setting personal goals is not only exciting but gives the long term satisfaction unlike life’s quick fixes. I use weight loss as an example because I speak from experience; flash diets and gimmicks rarely produce lasting results. We try a different diet every few weeks only to be disappointed because other than fat loss, there is no other goal in place. To begin my transformation, I had to set a goal that would hold me accountable: standing on stage in a bikini. I stopped eating sugar, ordered a pair of glitzy 5” heels, and the hard work began.
Throughout youth, we sought challenges to bring us closer to maturity but also because it was fun. Our mentors provided support and reassurance, making goals feel attainable. But as adults, it’s rare to find that type of support and we become doubtful, modest or even scared. We believe that audacious goals are only for children. Well, I challenge you to set a personal goal. It does not have to be colossal or trophy worthy but something that will result in a positive lifestyle change. We are no longer children but that does not mean we have to stop growing.
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