Clarify your objective

10 Feb

The other day I went to eat lunch with my friend Carolyn. I told her about my new time waster…Words with Friends. I love this game and am well on the way to being totally obsessed with it. Words speaks to the nerd and competitor in me while being easily accessed on my phone during lunch or at night while watching TV. It is the perfect way to kill time. Carolyn says she plays too; that her daughter will even remind her to play when the notification is on her phone. Then she said something to the effect of “sometimes I don’t like playing because it makes me feel stupid”.  My response: clarify for your objective. Words with Friends is about wasting time…not measuring intelligence.

Earlier this week I was talking with my friend Cindy. She is feeling discouraged after gaining a few pounds 2 weeks in a row. Man, have I been there. The power that one number has is ridiculous. My saying for the scale has been “one piece of data at one point it time”. When we look at the number on the scale we are narrowing in on one part of the story, and it’s not even the best part.

The next morning I got to work and asked Cindy what her primary goal was and without missing a beat she said “hustle” (as in Hustle up the Hancock at the end of February). So I asked if that is your goal, why are we so concerned with weight this week? What is success? Being first to finish? Finishing at all? Finishing with a personal best time? Finishing while encouraging others? Because if it is one of those, total pounds lost to date has nothing to do it.

To get something different, you need to do something different. Clarify your objective. Work towards a life…not a weight.

From the start mine has been survive Disney and run a half marathon. Weight was never the goal and quite frankly that number means less to me now than it ever has. Wearing jeans that are the size I was in high school means something. Knowing I can do 40 sit ups at any moment means something. The fact that I can keep up with all the skinny people in a kick boxing class means something. Sure, I could focus on the small amount of pounds I have lost over the last two months…I would be floored if it totals 15…and be really upset about it. The old me certainly would be discouraged and I would give up. Not anymore. My “something different” here is focusing on how far I have come; celebrating milestones and the benefits of all this work; and valuing my definition of success over that of others. Trust me; it works. I’ve got an 80 pound weight loss to prove it.


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