At Blush, we are all about setting goals. But it’s good to be able to understand when your goals are hurting you.
Fitness goals, career goals, relationship goals, personal goals – we don’t discriminate. We love ’em all. But occasionally we run into clients feeling paralyzed by their goals instead of motivated and inspired. This is normal in small doses – goals can be overwhelming and intimidating. They take work, time, and remind us that we juuuuuuuust aren’t quite there yet (boo). But after a few minutes of feeling tripped up – the healthy goals inspire us to keep going.
But what happens when we are continuously feeling down about our goals? When we feel down more than we feel inspired? When is enough, enough?
Good question. Here are a few ways to tell when your goals are hurting you instead of helping you.
1. The timeline is too long
If your goal is taking over a year to accomplish, it might be time to divide the goal into itty bitty sections. You don’t have to completely give up your goal, but breaking it down is going to alleviate the pain you’re feeling along the way. In life, we need mile markers. It’s perfectly wonderful if you would like to run a marathon. Go team. But you can’t get upset if you can’t run all 483957343 miles (ok, it’s 26ish, I knowwww) by next week. Or next month. Or maybe even next year. It all depends on where you’re starting from and what goals you have set in the interim. We’ve got to break it down.
So, let’s say your goal is to run a 5k (that’s three miles-ish) in two months. That’s about right. There are apps that say you can do it in six, but we’ll give you a two week buffer just in case. But BOOM – in two months – you’re golden! Yay! You accomplished something pretty amazing and you feel pretty awesome, right? But if you had ONLY been concentrating on your goal of a marathon, a 5k is going to seem puny. Unimpressive. Depressing. Only three lousy miles out of 26? Boooooo. You’re a failure! You’re not even close! She doesn’t even go here!
These are probably the feelings you’ll have swirling in your head if you don’t celebrate your mile-markers (get it?) along the way. So make sure you break down your marathon goal into shorter distances (yay puns). A 5k followed by a 10k followed by a half marathon followed by a full marathon. Your one big goal just broke down into 4 smaller goals – which is perfect for a lengthy accomplishment. You’ll keep your motivation up, your frustration down, and your goal will feel like it has been accomplished in no time.
2. There are too many factors outside of your control
By now you probably know this all too well: you can’t control everything.
Weather will do its thing. People will flake. Things fall apart. And most of the time – it has nothing to do with us. In life, if the odds are against your favor and you have exhausted all of your resources – it might be time to change up your final destination.
We don’t advise giving up at the first sign of opposition – but it’s a good thing to be able to pause and assess the situation before you break your back trying to make the impossible a reality. Working against the grain is only possible for so long. So sit back and go over the facts of your situation. Is there a viable way to achieve this goal? If the answer is yes, continue. If the answer is no, that’s ok.
Back when I was a lot younger I was all into that silly thigh gap movement. Stupid, yes. But I wanted one! I thought that was the pillar of health and beauty. But after months of eating healthy and pushing myself with fitness, I realized that no matter how healthy I was, I would never have a thigh gap. Hell, I never even had one in high school when I was on the drill team! I was literally kicking my hat and my thighs were practically glued together. And let’s be real, i ain’t kicking my hat at 6:45am every morning EVER AGAIN. You actually could not pay me.
Thankfully, I realized something important: my body is my body. It’s not something that can be morphed into something completely different. I can adjust here or tone there, but I can’t shift my bones. I can’t change my DNA. But it’s not my body that was the problem – it was the goal.
So instead of chasing that impossible, I learned to love my thighs just the way they are. They love each other, so much so that they cling to each other everyday, so why shouldn’t I?
Next, ask yourself, do certain things *have* to happen in order for it to be possible that are outside of your control? For example, does the sun HAVE to shine in order for the day to be a success? Does your mother HAVE to approve 100% in order for it to work? Do you NEED anyone’s permission other than your own?
If the answer is yes to any of these…then it’s time to consider pivoting. There’s no need to beat down a locked door when a window is right behind you. You should always be the ring leader of your goals. Putting dependence on unpredictable factors only jeopardizes your success. Try to center the majority of the responsibility on your shoulders, and the other factors play out – awesome. If not, it’s totally fine.
3. Your goal isn’t sustainable
It feels amazing when you reach your goal. You’ve hit a certain weight. You’ve studied x amount of hours. You’ve cut out certain foods. You’ve stayed on top of your timeline. But once you reach it…can you continue on?
One time goals are fine to make. Occasionally we just like to see what we’re made of and if we can really push ourselves to the limit. However most of our goals that we implement are meant to be lifestyle changes. They aren’t meant to be short-term bursts of self improvement, they’re meant to last.
So what happens if your goal just isn’t realistic for the long haul?
If you can’t keep up with your normal daily routine and continue feeling happy and healthy with your new goal, that’s a sign it’s not sustainable and it might be time to adjust. Reading one book a week might be an *awesome* goal to have, but that depends on the lengths of the books, how much you value networking, and whether or not your job hours will allow for it. And if you’re constantly stressed out about not having enough time to read…well that sucks.
Goals aren’t meant to make you miserable – they’re meant to enhance your life! If you can’t enjoy yourself and continue feeling energetic, excited, or happy about life – it’s time to alter the goal. Tone it down a bit. Don’t drop it completely – it probably has its own merits – but trim it down enough to where you can implement it with your overall life while still feeling like yourself.
Want to set some healthy goals?
Perfect, that’s what Blush is here for. We want to help you craft goals that will push you to be better while we weed out those goals that could be dragging you down. Goal setting should always be taken seriously and is enhanced when you’ve got a goal supervisor, like us. So join us today and let’s get started tomorrow!
Tell us below, have you run into any of these ‘hurtful’ goals before?