A goal is a dream with a deadline.
Goals have been a huge part of this process for me. Without them, I wouldn't have anything to work towards. I never realized how important they would be to me.
Ever since people started noticing that I was losing weight (the most visible aspect of all the changes I've made), I've been asked if I have an ultimate goal for weight loss. The answer to that, at the moment, is no. I don't know what a healthy weight is for me or where I will feel the most comfortable. So, small goals have worked really well for me. When I started this back in January, I didn't even tell anyone what my first goal was until I was 6 pounds shy of it. I remember the day (rainman memory). It was a Thursday in mid-February and I texted Renee' to tell her I had lost 3 more pounds that week. She asked what the total was and I told her 14 and that I wanted to lose 20 by my birthday (March 27th) and that I was actually feeling like I would achieve it. Realizing that was an amazing feeling and gave me another boost of confidence.
There were also other things that I wanted to do, I just didn't know it. Well, and they were all out of my comfort zone so they took some pushing. It probably sounds kinda crazy but having to report back to someone about my progress on goals I've set throughout this process has been a crucial part of my success. Not to mention the encouragement and support I've felt from numerous people since Day 1. I've said it before, my struggles with weight were a catalyst for everything that has changed over the last 9 months.
I think my sister-in-law said it best one day when we were having a conversation about all of this (she really is one of my best friends). She said, there's a reason you've struggled with your weight, with feeling down, with meeting new people, with so many things. It's so you would get to this point in your life, meet the person (people) you were supposed to meet and find your way to the life you're meant to have. Pretty insightful, if you ask me :) She's a pretty smart and awesome person!
If you are looking to make some changes in your life, set goals but make sure they are things you will be able to achieve. I know if, back in January, I had said I wanted to lose 100 pounds by Christmas, it would have felt forever far away and I wouldn't have had anything to celebrate. My confidence probably would have gone down because I wouldn't have had any achievements to celebrate. I've learned to enjoy every success I have, whether big or small because every achievement deserves a celebration. Now, I am actually closing in on losing 100 pounds and it feels amazing! I may or may not get there by Christmas (my goal) but I know I will get there eventually!
When I accomplish a goal, I feel an amazing sense of achievement. And I feel proud of myself. That's a feeling I didn't know existed. Just today, I had more little things happen that made me smile. I was on a field trip to UK and we took a tour of most of the campus and had to walk up 4 flights of stairs to see the sample dorm room. A year ago, I would have been dying. The walking alone would have been enough but 4 flights of stairs??? No thank you. Today, I felt energized, I enjoyed every minute of it and, amazingly, I wasn't even out of breath after climbing up the stairs. Sometimes, I notice and celebrate the little things even more than the big accomplishments.
What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.