Back last June when I started this whole business of exercising and eating right my goal was straightforward - lose weight so I could fit in my clothes.
Tracking my progress was simple. I had Julia take my measurements every Monday night.
Eventually I was able to wear all of my clothes again. In fact I’ve got a few things that I’d had let out to accommodate my formerly excessive girth which now need to be taken back in.
I’m good with that.
The problem, however, with meeting my goal is that I lost interest in having my measurements taken. With that having been my primary means of tracking progress I was left only with trying to beat my previous times on CrossFit workouts and counting pull ups.
I’ll continue to track them but, honestly, I’m bored with those metrics.
They’re not enough to keep me motivated.
With those, the goal and the metric are one in the same. In other words I track the number of pull-ups so I can see my progress towards a certain number of pull-ups. And I track my times in CrossFit workouts just to see if I can do the same workout faster a few weeks later.
See the difference?
With my original goal I had an underlying reason, which was to fit in my pants. I didn’t just pick an arbitrary waistline measurement and go for it.
Twenty pull-ups is totally arbitrary. Aside from the original challenge of competing with friends there’s no underlying reason that I need to be able to do twenty pull-ups. Without a reason, I started to get bored with it.
Failing to identify the underlying reason for a goal is a fundamental mistake.
Goals should be purpose-driven.
“I want to lose 50 pounds because _______”
“I want to run a 10k because ________”
“I want to earn $1,000,000 because _______”
People say, “I want to weigh 145 pounds.”
No they don’t! There’s a feeling they associate that feeling with a certain number on the scale. Maybe it’s how much they weighed in high school or how much they weighed when they got married.
It’s the feeling they want, not the number.
Nobody really gives a damn about the number, and arbitrary goals lead to boredom and burnout.
I’ve been studying the Spartan Race courses to learn more about what I can expect on April 7th in Concord. One thing I’ve discovered is if you fail to complete an obstacle you have to do 30 burpees in order to proceed.
That’s a lot!
Right now, I can do between 12 and 15 before I’m totally winded and have to take a break.
So my purpose-driven goal is that “I want to be able to do 30 burpees without stopping so that I can perform well at the Spartan Race even if I miss an obstacle.”
To achieve it I’m challenging myself to 28 days of burpees in February. Every day in February, weekends included, I’m going to do one set of 30 burpees and track how many I can do without stopping.
On race day I hope I won’t miss a single obstacle. But with the purpose combined with the practice I plan to be a burpee machine, just in case.