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As we all know, one of the most important things in life is setting goals. Career goals, family goals, personal goals… you name it. Another thing you may be away of is that without a proper plan of action, you must have a reasonable course of action (also referred to as “goal setting”) in order effectively achieve them. For example, say you want to become a lawyer for corporate law. It would probably be in your best interest to get a Bachelor’s degree in something like Political Science, Philosophy, with some background in business, apply for Law school, get into law school, complete law school, write the LSATs and begin your journey as a lawyer. Perhaps, you’ll work pouring coffee for a well-established law-firm, working through papers and assisting in cases until you finally work your way up to being a stand-alone attorney, and perhaps one day, start you own practice.
So, great, you have your plan. You have not only a goal set, but a course of action to take to get there.
There is one step you’re missing, though.
Does your plan of action match your personal lifestyle?
For instance, let’s look at our soon-to-be lawyer, again. Do they have the money to get into law school? Or the drive? Maybe not. And perhaps, they’re unwilling to become swamped in student loans. Or, perhaps they already have standing loans and are not fond of the idea of increasing their dollar amount due. What if they have fears? Or become too comfortable in their current life? What if, as much as they love the idea of law, they idea of reading a book, or sitting in a classroom causes them to cry on the inside?
With all that in mind, should they suffer through the process to become a lawyer, or really evaluate if that is what they should be doing?
OK. I am not suggesting that if you’re lazy and don’t want to put in the work, then you shouldn’t. If you’re genuinely passionate about being a lawyer, you need to do the time. It just is. Same with any career choice, or in terms of personal goals, you won’t be able to lose/gain weight without commitment, or time manage better… the list truly goes on. However what I do suggest is that you do not let yourself get too bogged down by the end goal.
Okay, let’s try to say this a different way, shall we?
Sometimes in life we are so focused on the place we want to get that we completely forget that we need to also focus on our present happiness. And furthermore, we start developing our goal plan(s) by what someone else deems appropriate, rather than figuring out a way that best matches our personal happiness. And truly, what is more important, living life the way a book tells you, or living your life the way you want to?
The reason I mention this is because last night, during a conversation with my new manager, I realized just how important it is to value your current self. Who you will be in the future is not nearly as important as who you are in the moment. Your future self will come, worry about that then. If we’re talking about career-goals, think about your lifestyle and create a plan that is reasonable for you. Maybe instead of going full-time as a student, you do part-time and work full time; or, maybe just take some time off for you!
This is something I’ve struggled with… a lot. Too much, really. With school, everything was… five years ahead. I needed to do this to get to this to do this to get to here… it was all very daunting. Was I happy in the moment? Not as much as I could be. Was a stressed? A whole heck of a lot. Similarly, in my personal life, my relationships and workouts were never ‘go with the flow’. Ever. My boyfriend can attest to this. And again, I was doing what society deemed to be the “right” way to do things, not how my body thought it was the right way to do things.
My Big Mistakes in Terms of Goal Matching
Career and School
I always told myself I needed to do a Master’s. Right now, I have no desire to do a Master’s degree, at all. I can not give you a solid reason as to why, but I feel like when I am done my Bachelor’s degree, I will want to be closer to actually beginning my career. And furthermore, I know for a fact that I had no desire to attain a PhD, so all in all, my Master’s would be a moot point. After a lot of thinking, it became clear to me that I wanted to coach and train women to live their lives in the best way for them. I did not want to be a psychologist, or a doctor… just a girl helping other girls who need help. And you know what? That is OK. I don’t need a bunch of letters behind my name, or zeros behind my salary. I just need to be happy. So, I now plan to not worry about a master’s program all too much. I will probably do an honors program in my BA to keep my options open down the road, but for now… I’m happy with my plans to pursue Life coaching and Human Resources certification.
And albeit, if I can, one day, yoga instructing.
Fitness and Diet
Someone somewhere said something about HIITs, and the another someone somewhere said something about long runs… and then someone else somewhere told me to work out in the AM on an empty belly, which completely contrasted this other person who said it is smartest to work out the afternoon. After getting stumped there, I was urged to pursue veganism… no, no, no, wait… grains are the devil. As is yogurt. Oh, but just hold your horses, now! Combing food is clearly route to take. Just remember not to eat carbs at night. But make sure you eat cereal before bed, because it’ll release melatonin and help you sleep!
For a while, I listened. Then I realized that while none of these things were “wrong”, none of them were “right” either. One thing you need to remember when approaching ANY fitness or diet is that every single boy and personality is different. Some people truly do benefit from a vegan diet, while others do not (I do not). Some people are trying to lose weight and are short on time, so HIITs are good for them. But, these people… they’re not me, so why am I letting their choices affect mine?
Speaking as a non-professional fitness enthusiast, there are three real goals. First, weight loss/fat loss. Second, muscle gain and thirdly, overall health benefits. Before beginning any work out regime, define your goal. For me, right now it is mostly three, with a hint of two. Now, before you go googling “work out programs to gain muscle” or “to lose weight”, ask yourself one BIG question:
“How do I want to do this?”
As I said, goals and planning is pointless if it fails to match… you. So, if you don’t want to run a bunch… don’t. If you want to enjoy cake…. do. Just balance everything out for you. Yesterday my manager said something that really spoke to me:
“As long as you can look at yourself and think, ‘I’m happy’, that’s all you need”.
This is so true. Don’t get bogged down with your fitness goals… just enjoy what you’re doing. I always say, the moment you can’t remember WHY you’re doing something… stop doing it. That’s why I am not longer doing HIITs or plyometrics. I can’t remember why I am doing them.
Just make sure your fitness and diet match you and not someone else, because you only need to make YOU happy.
I always thought relationships were suppose to go a certain way and felt that there was deadlines for certain moments within one. As a result, there were certain things I forced myself to do far too quickly. If I wasn’t ready for something, I ignored it and did it anyways, to appease the other person. This is extremely unhealthy; trust me. Now, I sit, harboring a very unpleasant relationship with those things. I’ve somehow attached unpleasant emotions to them, and have become afraid of engaging in them. Had I – in the past – listened to myself fully and waited to do such things in my own time, maybe now I wouldn’t feel the pressure on myself regarding them.
Girls, there is no right way to develop in a relationship. I know it seems there is, but there isn’t. If you’re 25 and have been with a guy for two years and haven’t had sex… even though it is not common, if it is okay between you two, then who cares? If you’re in a relationship, with a baby and not married… it is no one’s business, but yours, to deem whether or not that is an good family life for the child. If you’re 22 and never been kissed, well, it just hasn’t been the right time for you. Patience will lead you to good things, I promise.
Never rush yourself into anything, please. Take it from me. It will only cause you to hurt more down the road. Be patient with yourself. You’ll get there. I have faith.