On Goalsetting

There’s this really annoying thing that happens when you spend most of your life in Physical Therapy instead of dance classes and after-school sports.

Your life is determined by goals (and the predicament is even worse if you’re in Special Education).

I still remember most of my long term PT goals, mainly because I haven’t achieved them. Most of them started as a 4-week goal, then got moved to an 8-week goal, then 16 weeks, etc.

I’m convinced that wherever my pediatrics records have ended up there’s a list in my file of “Bucket List Goals;” and “getting up off the floor using a half kneel” would be somewhere on that list, if not at the top of it.

It’s something I can’t do, still, it’s not on my goal list, I don’t think it ever was to be honest. I tried it a few months ago at my PTs request but when my protests were accompanied by pain it went back to “the never ever” list.

I used to hate goals. They didn’t seem like something to accomplish rather something to do because someone else said so, like standardized testing.

I started to set goals for myself after my last surgery. I needed to, before I went crazy. I went from being fairly independent to needing help with something as simple as putting on a shoe in less than 5 minutes. I needed to give myself a reason to get out of bed (or sometimes get in bed) that was dictated by me only.

The 1st time I set foot in a gym we talked about goals. The big ones were obvious, I was there to learn to walk again (since insurance had cut off my PT) and smaller ones were mentioned, like getting on the Stairmaster for 30 seconds and not want to die at the end, but I kept my personal goals to myself for a while.

I found one worthy enough to be shared (as in I knew people wouldn’t think I was insane) but the training for it ended up being something I couldn’t do; in fact, it may have contributed to my nagging injuries.

When I went back to PT I had one goal. Fix my hip and get the hell out of there and back to the gym.

I started swimming again while going to PT 3 times a week. As frustrating as I found PT I found my return to the pool to be even more frustrating. My brain knew what to do and so did my body but somehow I was struggling to get from one side of the pool to the other without feeling like I was on the verge of drowning.

I started to incorporate my swim goals into PT, unofficially, especially after I joined a team. “How did your swim go?” is always answered by a list of wishful improvements.

I voiced the physical goals but kept the mental ones to myself, because mentally I am my own worst enemy so those are best kept to me, myself, and I (at least for now).

I found an Inst@gram post that pretty much sums up how I feel about not only swimming but goals in general which says, “Swimming is the most mentally challenging thing I’ve ever done – and I love it.”TheAwesomeSwimmer

I hate setting goals because I fear I won’t ever achieve them, especially goals I’ve set for myself, but once I’ve achieved it I feel good, and wonder what the crap I was so freaked out about in the 1st place.

Although I hate setting goals I’m at a point when I can’t help but do it and I have to say it’s pretty awesome, at least when it’s done well. For a long time, I was afraid to set any goals just in case they ended up being too big.

In reality I didn’t want to discern whether they were really achievable at all, maybe I wasn’t able to, even if I wanted to.

It’s OK to have goals, even really big seemingly unachievable ones. The thing to remember, and in my case recognize, is that most of the time you can, and probably need to, set up smaller goals on the path to the bigger goal.

I may never have been a fan of setting goals but I’m learning to appreciate their true purpose.

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3 thoughts on “On Goalsetting

  1. Pingback: Practice Makes Almost Perfect | Most Usually Unusual

  2. Pingback: On Marathons & Misconceptions | Most Usually Unusual

  3. Pingback: Luck Is For The Unprepared | Most Usually Unusual

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