Goals! I for one, naturally gravitate towards goals. Most often I don’t 100% set out my year with goals in order on a big yellow list to tick off, but in a general mind-pasteboard, I do have a handful of things I hope to achieve within the year.
My goals for this year (ever changing, ever adding, ever subtracting) are:
• Dedicate more of me (time, effort, mindfulness, thought, body) to learning more of Yoga
• Up my climbing game, work on techniques that I don’t naturally gravitate towards, like climbing slabs, gaining more strength
• Figuring out a work/yoga/life balance that allows my energies to be at a good level
Just these three! Of course more will be added, and these might change as I chip away at them throughout the year. But yes these are the core three I am aiming at this year. In fact it has already changed since the beginning of the year. The 2nd goal has recently been added as upon working on my 1st goal, I’ve found that my climbing has improved.. rather dramatically. Ok, that is totally relative and the improvement is only a comparison to myself but it kind of took me by surprise! Dedicating more of my time to yoga, whether it is the changes physically from spending more time with my practice, or changes mentally with being more steady and calm in my mind, or changes in my breathing with creating a better link with my movement and breath – it seems to have upped my climbing grade. Power to the Yoga YO!
The interesting thing with adding goals though, is that it creates expectation. We make goals to challenge ourselves, to achieve them. But then pressure creeps in. Pressure from ourselves when we latch on our expectations that come along with making these goals. Pressure that could really IRL hinder you achieving your goals.
WHAT? Yeah I know, mental right?
Yes, in all senses of the word, it is mental.
Firstly it is mental because it is indeed mental. This expectation is made in our minds when we create our goals! We can’t help it. Of course we expect ourselves to achieve a certain level of our goals, if we don’t 100% fulfil it. And it is good to have some expectation tagged on your goals – it is what keeps the fire fuelled when you’re not 100% feelin’ it all the time. BUT! DON’T LET THE EXPECTATIONS RUIN YOU.
We have this predisposition to ramp up our expectations on ourselves. Sometimes, unrealistic. Is this underachieving when I say unrealistic? No. It is not! But yes you cry! Saying that means I’m not good enough to achieve amazing things! ‘Unrealistic’ means I’m not trying hard enough! .. NO!!
Try going with the flow with your goals.
Do your natural thang with your goals, but delete the expectation. Let the process be organic. Enjoy achieving. Enjoy the whole process, whether it goes up or down, negative or positive day to day. Minus the expectation. Delete it!! You will find that if your mental state is more relaxed, you are more likely to organically achieve what you want. Flow, flow, flow. This is one of the things the yoga practice has taught me. Start at Zero every day. And that is OK. Be OK with that. Be humble and prepared to start at zero every day. And take it from there each time.
Secondly, it is mental in the other sense whereby it’s whack that your own expectations can ruin your goal-achievement.
Dudes! Take the pressure off yourself.
Pressure ruins your enjoyment, pressure makes your brain scramble. Pressure just makes the goal achieving rather painful. And mainly – pressure is totally unnecessary. Ask yourself where does that come from? It doesn’t come from anyone else, it just comes from you. Then ask yourself, do you need that pressure? Perhaps in a few moments, to push yourself just that little bit, yes maybe that is ok. But if the pressure gets more and longer, this creates unhealthy stress upon yourself. It creeps up yes, but when it does, take a moment and breathe, find calm and remind yourself that there is no need for pressure to put upon yourself.
I am constantly reminding myself of these two emboldened points. Even today, I was at a peak frustration point with myself at the climbing centre. I had to sit down, drink a cup of tea and eat a flapjack to get my brain de-scrambled. Anyway! I hope if you go through this too, these writings will make sense and hopefully help you remember to have fun, chill and enjoy your journey.