GUESS WHO’S BACK AND BETTER THAN EVER?
It’s ya girl, Ariel!! Officially stateside again after 3.5 months studying abroad in LONDON. What a great, amazing time. Totally refreshing, put a lot of things in perspective, and I can honestly say I loved it. (Ask me about it and I promise to talk your ear off!) But now that I’m home and settling in, I’m ready to start working hard on the goals I’ve set for the upcoming months, semester, and year.
And that’s what this post is about. It’s that time of the year when everyone has a moment to finally breathe after the holidays, center themselves, and dream up some big New Year’s Resolutions and goals. And that is so awesome! Seriously – MAKE THOSE GOALS. BELIEVE in them, and in yourself. But above all else, when getting ready to tackle those goals you currently have, or are making for 2016…make sure that whatever you’re doing, that you’re doing it for YOU.
I’ve been through a surprising amount this year. My dog died in January, I got a tattoo and turned 21, started some fitness goals, saw some real RESULTS, had a really fun but short-lived relationship, was the “other woman” in a cheating situation this summer with a guy from the local gym, had to deal with all of the repercussions that involved (anger, bitterness, contact with the girlfriend, rehashing it a million times, etc.), moved to and lived in LONDON for a few months…and that’s all in a single year. Lots of personal growth occurred, perhaps not always in ideal ways, but I have no regrets.
That being said, I can say that throughout everything that happened – all the ups and downs, plateaus and breakthroughs – the times I had the most trouble were when I lost sight of my personal goals. When my goals shifted focus to other people, they weren’t really mine anymore at all, and accomplishing them left me entirely unsatisfied.
Classic example – I committed to losing weight and getting back my fitness lifestyle in April 2015. I made the decision because I was dissatisfied with my body, unhappy in a lot of general ways, and really just missed being able to do active things or to lift weights.
But then I got a boyfriend, and my goals suddenly changed from wanting to get fit for me to wanting to get in shape so that he would find me more attractive. That thought in itself is crazy, because if he didn’t like me as I was, then he sure as heck wouldn’t have deserved me when I lost weight – but I digress. When we broke up, the motivation changed again, but this time the goal became to look amazing and show him what he gave up.
Sure, the anxiety to be attractive, and then the later anger and hurt were definitely motivating forces. It got me to the gym and had me working my butt off. But I wasn’t any happier, despite seeing results, because I wasn’t doing it for me anymore. It was about pleasing or hurting another person, not about improving myself or finding any sort of peace and balance.
I got back on track in the summer when I picked out a specific workout program I had always wanted to do but never finished (and I FINISHED it this time!!). But I lost sight of myself again, and things went downhill again when the attractive worker at the local gym started showing interest in me. It threw me off because suddenly, I wanted to look better because I felt like he was out of my league. And if I’m being entirely honest, part of me wanted to talk to him just to make my ex jealous. Two birds with one stone, you know.
But I lacked the inner love for myself and a goal about my wellbeing – so I let this guy treat me like hell, all the while still trying to get fit to impress him. When “things” hit the fan in regards to him cheating, and each time his girlfriend got in touch with me (or went through my social media) after the fact, whatever good things I had been doing for myself (starting Crush60, being less restrictive, having more confidence…etc.) – I threw them out the door and made my goals to be to sort of show them I didn’t care, or that I was better than their messed up relationship, or whatever– and guess what? Still not happy, still not satisfied.
I could pull examples like this from every era of my life. But fundamentally, it comes down to this – when you don’t love yourself, achieving goals is harder than usual, and when your goals aren’t for you, you won’t be satisfied even when you do achieve them.
The times I’ve been happiest were when I was committed to goals I wanted for me – like the F.I.T. Program, or Crush60, or moving past my eating disorder, or inspiring and encouraging others to pursue their goals, or embracing my quirks and appreciating what I have to offer as a person. It was when I finally put myself first that I felt happiest and strongest.
Of course I care about other people, but my goals can’t be for them. I couldn’t have gone to therapy and gotten anything out of it if I had just done it because my parents wanted me to; I had to want to get better. I couldn’t have enjoyed my study abroad experience if I only went out because my friends asked; I had to have the right mindset to learn and explore. And I can’t love myself or be successful in my life just because other people love me and believe in me; I have to make the choice to love myself every day and through everything that happens, so that I can believe in myself and my capabilities to be successful.
No one else can decide your goals or your life for you, and no one else can motivate you to really go for it. It’s all on you. It’s all about you. And you gotta do it for you.
You aren’t alone, though – you’ve got support all around you. Heck, if you can’t think of anyone that believes in you, know that I’m rooting for you and I know you can do it. So do it. But do it for you, because you deserve to be happy. Put yourself first – even if it’s the first time you’ve ever done it! – and watch how much more enjoyable life becomes.
To keep me honest, and just share piece of my dreams with you all, some of my personal goals for the year include:
- completing various fitness programs/challenges: Nika’s Winter Challenge, Crush60 (round 2) with Booty Bootcamp (lol), and Mass Effect
- increase my food intake and generally heal my relationship with food
- hitting new PRs for my lifts: squat 15olbs, deadlift 150lbs, and benchpress 100lbs (or better!)
- competing in a power-lifting competition, and later a figure competition
- starting a job search, finding a job, graduating, and becoming an “adult” 🙂
- expanding the scope of my blog, and the frequency of posts (I’M SORRY I NEVER POST REGULARLY)
- and reading a new book (unrelated to class!) each month
I have more, but that’s a nice overview. So what are YOUR goals? What are YOU going to do for YOU this year? Start now. You CAN do this!!!
Won’t it be great to see what happens? 🙂