At what point in your life do you figure out that you yourself are your number one priority in life? Is there a set age that we tend to figure it out, or is it something that takes years to establish?
There isn't a clear answer to that, at least I don't think
Too often do we see people running around looking for answers as to what they are supposed to be doing with their lives, who they are supposed to associate themselves with, what is considered a healthy amount of friends and acquaintances, and who we are supposed to wind up with according to the opinion of society.
You are supposed to go to school.
You are supposed to have a good job.
You are supposed to be successful.
You are supposed to be happy, in conjunction with the above.
Are you, though?
I think a lot of people have the tendency to compare themselves to the people they graduated with. It's a good base, they're the kids you grew up with, the ones you had your 'firsts' with, the ones you made some of the best memories with.
Take for instance my grad class. I'm 24 years old, so I graduated in 2009 from a Christian-based private school. High standards. I've already got fellow high-school classmates that are married, have kids, bought their first house, graduated university and have successful jobs (some even moved on to attend medical school, congrats). Meanwhile I'm over here still feeling like I'm trying to figure out a few things.
I know where I want to wind up, that's not a question I am faced with. But the things that make me feel accomplished are doing the laundry or like nailing a new recipe or hitting the books for 6 hours straight.
So why am I still comparing myself to those who have their lives together?
Because they look happy.
My new years resolution this year was to be happy. What that entailed at the time I'm not so sure; rather I have figured out a few things that already make me 10x happier than I was last year:
When I started my blog, I wanted it to be my safe place that I would have no limitations to what I wrote. I still feel that way, but in the six months of me running this database I have learned that it is a way for me to open up to the world. Society still terrifies me in some ways, but I think this is a pretty good step to learn how to be myself.
Food for thought for those who are reading, I want you to take this with you for the rest of the day:
It’s a chilly October morning, and as I sit on my bed bundled up like a caterpillar in a blanket cocoon with a face mask on, I’m grinding down the basics on what it takes to set goals and what it feels like to be motivated.
No… I didn’t get inspired smothering a masque on my face. I got inspired when I felt sweat dripping down my forehead in the gym this morning and let me tell you… that sweat fogged up my glasses.
About that life, hey? Don’t worry, it was a great workout.
It isn’t uncommon to fall in and out of a goal-setting mindset. In fact, it’s more common to come across people who have a lot of trouble setting goals and sticking to them just as much as they have a hard time finding any form of motivation.
I think a lot of people who lack motivation to set goals tend to turn to people involved in active lifestyles for advice, like we are advice-giving gurus or something. True, I definitely would not be where I am today without having set some goals to get me here. It took many years, and a lot of mental determination. That said however, us ‘advice guru’ folk also have our downfalls. We go through real struggs, let me tell you.
I don’t want to get up today. I need more rest. I’m too lazy to cook. I don’t want to go to class. I wish someone could pick up my kids for me. I wish someone could go to this function for me. I just don’t want to handle society today.
Any of these sound familiar?
These are every day first-world problems, folks. We all have to learn how to deal with them, it’s a part of being an adult. As adults, we will literally dig in our sack of excuses to find a way to get out of daily activities that we have sitting on our plate, and we are all guilty of it.
My little epiphany that I had this morning while sweat was dripping in my eye was that I wanted to share my personal tips on how to set goals and keep your motivation level high when times are a little sad so to speak. A couple key factors that hold many individuals back might involve the following:
Cue seasonal depression.
I remember this time last year I was going through a really weird time in my life. I was in my fourth year of uni in my sociology degree, when I realized how unhappy school was making me. It made me miserable to think that I was pushing myself through a degree that I absolutely despised all of my professors because of their poor attitude towards students, and ultimately made me hate school. Yeah, hate is a strong word. But I had little motivation to even go to class to the point where I found it really difficult to motivate myself to study. In my last two years in university, the amount of times that a professor said ‘good luck finding a job after this’ really disappointed me. What am I supposed to do now? It’s an awful, yucky funk that a lot of students will find themselves experiencing towards the end of their university career.
When I was in that weird place in my life, I started to write down my thoughts on paper. Reading back on it now, I was able to pin-point that a lot of my depression and lack of motivation revolved around school, and where I found happiness was when I was training and doing meal prep.
Hold your horses, I’m not saying everyone needs to drop their socks and get on the same train as I was. There’s a science to it.
What was I doing when I was in the gym? I was setting little goals. Okay, by the end of this month, I want to see if my waist can come in a little more and widen my lats.
So I did.
I was so focused on the end result of my goals that it became such a routine to take some time once I had reached whatever goal I had attained to revisit all of my wants and needs in life and break them down by priority.
Okay, so pay period rolls around. You have enough money to pay off your credit card bill and then some, or you can go to the mall and buy yourself the pair of sneaks you’ve had your eye on for a while.
Let me talk a bit about how a healthy mindset works. Before you go to sleep every night, think about a few things that went on in your day that were positive. Chances of you waking up in a better mood are far more likely than if you went to sleep thinking damn, that was a horrible day, and risk waking up feeling like a sack of potatoes. I always like to reflect on some of the positives that I experienced before I went to sleep. Yeah, maybe I had a really horrible day. Maybe I had to wake up, slam a coffee, throw on some Dre and handle it, but maybe in amongst that day I found a bit of goodness:
Keeping this good mood going is another challenge. The key: Don’t let the little triggers such as jealousy, anger, annoyance or irritability set you off and light your fuse, rather brush them off and push forward. Seek a level of greatness in your day that will motivate you enough to seek the same level tomorrow and the next day.
Seek peace of mind.
When we seek greatness, or little things that have potential to set us up for success, we are automatically driven. We are driven to succeed. Driven to have goals. Ask yourself this: Do you have the willpower to hold yourself accountable to succeed? What baby steps do you need to take in your life to help you achieve your goal? What is the measure to your success?
Some of the things I have talked about already in regards to goals are weighted by little things. Do you have ability to succeed? Yes. Every single person on this planet is able. Key point here: stop telling yourself that you can’t. Tell yourself that you will.
All in all, the point I am trying to get across to you all is that making goals isn’t rocket science, rather they’re little tiny lights at the end of millions of tunnels in our lives that will help us achieve what we truly desire in life. You are all able. You’re all freaking awesome.
Providing you with the knowledge that I encounter on a daily basis through my fitness lifestyle.