But when is it the right time to stop setting goals and just go with the flow of life?
Because sometimes goals keep us from living in the moment, as we are always thinking about the future and when we are going to reach a certain level or achieve something new.
I continuously go back and forth with goals.
One minute I believe they are needed all the time in order to keep me moving forward with life and with myself, but another minute, I hate them and believe that living is more important, being in the moment and going with the flow of what is to come next is what we should be striving for.
I'm not really sure if I have the answer to the question above, as I don't think anyone does. We are all different, we all have different experiences, an we all thrive off of different things, so some people might love setting goals and that works well for them, and others don't like it and that works well for them.
For example, my fiance, Ben loves having something to reach for. He is always setting another goal or challenge to achieve and overcome. It works for him because he enjoys it and creates motivation from it.
However, even though I like setting goals, I don't think it's always necessary to have them. Personally, I only set a goal when I feel that it is important for me both physically and mentally. Otherwise, I'll always be reaching for something and never achieving anything.
In terms of eating disorder recovery, I think the same thing relates. You set goals when you have something you really need and want to accomplish, but other than that, you allow yourself to progress towards whatever comes naturally.
Because many times, it's an innocent goal that led you down the path you're now struggling on. And if you are anything like me, setting a goal can lead to obsessive thoughts no matter what it has to do with. Once a goal becomes something more than a finish line to cross, it is an obsession and no longer is serving you in a positive way.
For example, I tend to make goals surrounding fitness because I love lifting more weight and the feeling of strength I get from it, but I also know that I tend to take things a little too far, I workout longer, harder, and I tire out faster.
When a goal I make turns into something painful or stops being beneficial to me and my health, I know it's time to stop and just relax, go with the flow and let things even out.
But an example of when it's critical to stick with a goal is when I was in recovery, trying to gain weight. My goal was to consume a little bit more calories each day until I reached a certain amount that would allow me to gain weight. This lasted for about two days until I got too uncomfortable with myself and all the food I was eating.
I wanted to stop and quit on my goal, but I couldn't.
I knew this was a goal that was needed and I knew I wanted to achieve it. I knew the different between keeping a healthy goal and letting go of a negative goal.
And this isn't easy to do by any means but it's worth taking a look into and reflecting on the idea. Because I know everyone has come across this predicament at some point or another in their lives. One where you're not sure if your goal lines up with how you want to live, how you want to be.
Figuring this out is a personal matter though, as it comes down to being honest with yourself and trusting your heart. If you can't be honest, you'll never be able to tell the difference because sometimes it takes some painful realizations to know when you should let go of a certain goal or when you really need to push through it.
Typically, if the goal becomes uncomfortable and you feel like giving up, it's a goal you need. It's a goal that will make you a better person and what you will achieve is important to your makeup.
However, if the goal becomes obsessive or overruling, it's probably something to let go of.
Have you ever experienced this with your own goals? How do you deal?