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Is Goal Setting Ruining Your Motivation?

Is Goal Setting Ruining Your Motivation?

I’ve never found it too difficult to get the motivation to go to the gym. Once it becomes a part of your routine it seems strange to miss it. My favorite part about working out is being able to do something that you weren’t able to do two weeks ago, 2 months ago, and even two years ago. In all honesty, I’m not a person who sets goals, writes them down and has a deadline when I want to complete it by. I find that the best way to go about it is to think of something you want to achieve, and work towards it, without any of the stressful deadlines and milestones. The problem with goal setting is that if you reach a date, and you haven’t hit that milestone yet, it can be very counteractive and frustrating – and not in a good way. Rather than have to deal with those negative thoughts, you skip the whole formal process and just work towards things you want to accomplish.

Personally I have found this works the best for me, as it keeps my mind on the achievement, and this allows me to create a routine or a system to meet this task at my own rate. One great example is that I wanted to increase the number of chin ups I could do in a row from 5 to 10. Most people would think to set a date (say, 8 weeks down the line) as well as milestones that they would have to meet in a time based fashion (for example, 6 chin ups by the end of two weeks, 8 chin ups in 4 weeks, etc). I find this to be extremely restrictive and discouraging, especially for those who have not reached their goal by a specific date.

I set this objective back in August, and I had an idea that I might finish it by October. October came around, and I still hadn’t completed my 10 chin ups in a row – but that didn’t matter. Had I set a time frame for this and not been able to meet it, I would have gotten very demotivated. But, I kept at it, switching between pull ups, chin ups, wide grip pull ups, and neutral grips chin ups every other day. The other important aspect of this ‘goal’ was that I didn’t focus every single day on strictly doing chin ups. I worked the other upper body muscles by doing these different variations as they all played a part in my ability to do the chin ups. This might have delayed my timeline by a month or two, but it was worth it knowing that I was getting stronger overall – not just focusing on one single goal.

Eventually, I hit those 10 chin ups, and that was two weeks ago; about 4 months after I had made that goal (and 2 months after what my ‘goal date’ was, if I had actually made one). The point that I am trying to make here is that setting goals can be beneficial, but the method you use to get there can be detrimental. What I have learnt is that creating a consistent, enjoyable and healthy routine can allow you to meet your fitness targets while keeping you motivated and feeling successful. If you’re curious about more ideas about how to create this type of lifestyle, contact me using the comment box below!

 

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