For as long as I remember, I'm thinking at least since I was 20, I have had the same goals. They have been a recurring theme running through my 20s, 30s and look set to run into my 40s as well. They usually followed the same theme, wording, everything about them was constant. They looked like:
1. Lose weight and be 11stone 11. (Based on my height and weight and the BMI charts that you see all over the net.)
2. Be debt free
3. To have a nice house
Each few months, new year or autumn, I would buy a brand new notebook, diligently write out these same goals and then plan ways in which I can achieve them. I would try hard, sometimes I was not in the best of places and would end up failing after a few days as the lure of that cake or new notebook beckoned, or I would realise the enormity of all the decorating I would have to do. Other times, I lasted a bit longer, going for a few months and losing a chunk of weight, but never anywhere near my goal weight.
These goals have been my cornerstone, my constant points on the sea and always in the background ready to be brought out time and time again.
And how did these goals make me feel? Excited? Scared? Bat shit crazy with glee? Well here's the rub, after a while they felt like a big stick. They became something with which to hit myself with, to beat myself with, to make myself feel useless and lazy, and that I was not good enough and probably never would be.
This week, after 20 odd years, I realised these goals were not working for me. They were not exciting or challenging or leaving me with butterflies in my tummy because I was excited at actually achieving them, they were just a big stick, and they felt heavy like a millstone. Worst of all, rather than making me a better version of myself, they were making me feel so much worse about myself. I think it was Einstein who said (and I'm paraphrasing here) that the definition of crazy is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result, I never saw it. Nor did I feel excited about achieving my goals, as in what that would actually look like. Sure I imagined myself choosing clothes off the rack, but for someone who is not really into shopping, it wasn't exciting.
I realise this, with the second goal, to be debt free, I am not debt free, far from it, but in this day and age, who is? What I am doing is regularly chipping away at my debt and not adding to it in anyway shape or form. It is doing absolutely fine and is working hard in the background, to the point where I no longer think about it. Woohoo! One for the win! This is not a goal anymore for me. With the third goal, I have a half decorated house, but you know what, every night I want to come home and snuggle in the comfy armchairs, add more fairy lights, enjoy a mug of tea in the armchair we got from IKEA and which I love. So what if the carpet in the bedroom needs replacing, it'll happen. This year we have ripped out our 1970s brown gas fire, and opened up the chimney, ripped out and built a new kitchen. The house is just great, it's cosy and I am excited about winter in it. Again, this goal has disappeared into the background.
And now to the big one, my weight. It is scary letting go of this goal which I have had for so long. I love my food, I love going out for a piece of cake and a cup of tea with my girlfriends, I love a romantic meal with Chris and I love a bit of pizza and a bit of Strictly. I don't want to be the person miserably eating a bowl of cold pasta while everyone enjoys a barbecued chocolate banana, I want to be someone who enjoys good food whether it be a grapefruit or a bowl of hand cut chips. Most of all I just want to be happy with who I am.
As I said, this is scary stuff for me and I feel as if all of those anchors in the storm have now gone and I'm being tossed around the sea a bit, unsure of my path. But it's ok. I will be fine. And actually, it feels like the time to make some new goals, things that will make me feel giddy with excitement and glee and maybe just a bit bat shit crazy.
It's time to wrap up now, I told you it would be a bit rambling. I don't want you to think I am preaching here. My way is exactly that my way, just like your way is your way. I'm just negotiating my way on this big blue ball of ours. (That the earth BTW). Be happy y'all.