I'm just not. And I can't apologize for it. So why do I feel like I should?
I finally talked to someone yesterday who works out at night! She's a night owl like myself and prefers to hit the gym about 8:30 at night. She works out for about an hour, then goes home to shower and hit the hay. This sounds good to me, but also hard to stick with.
Take this week for example. My mom is here visiting, arrived yesterday and stays until Thursday. So if I head to the gym at 8:30 at night, my husband is stuck entertaining her, not to mention that she's here to visit so shouldn't I be visiting? Then I think, well, fitness and health is important, not selfish. Yet, I would still feel incredibly guilty heading out at that time and leaving the household and guests behind.
But don't be fooled into thinking I got up to workout this morning instead. I did not. Or yesterday. Or tomorrow.
Because I am just not a morning person.
If I can get up and spend some time waking up, say an hour, and then head off to the gym, I'm fine. But to roll out of bed and hit it is just not me. Don't get me wrong, I have had some great runs first thing in the morning, and I think I still will again someday, but as a regular thing it doesn't seem to be in the cards for me.
So when does changing one's goal become failure and when is it just a shift? And why does setting and achieving goals have to be so important? I read a book recently entitled Focus by Leo Babauta (thanks, Alan, for the recommendation). Among several awesome insights in this book, the author talks about abandoning goals in favor of living in the present. He says, "We're always thinking about the future (goals) instead of the present. I prefer to live in the present." He goes on to say, "Goals are a way of saying, 'When I've accomplished this goal (or all these goals), I will be happy then. I am not happy now, because I haven't achieved my goals.' This is never said aloud, but it's what goals really mean. The problem is, when we achieve the goals, we don't achieve happiness. We set new goals, strive for something new."
I have always subscribed to the theory that goals make life worthwhile and without goals we sit and twiddle our thumbs all day. I don't know if I can completely buy off on Mr. Babauta's theory of abanding goals completely, but I do see how focusing too much on goals and where you want to be can take away some of the joy of living in the present. Doesn't the saying go, 'it's about the journey not the destination' or something like that? Anyway, this blog came about so that I could focus on the journey of reaching my weight and running goals. And while I am learning a lot on this journey, I have gotten caught up in thinking that once I achieve my goals, only then will I have succeeded (be happy). Working out when I can doesn't seem like enough because my goal is to work out faithfully on certain days, for a certain amount of time, at a certain time of day. If I don't get up in the morning and workout (reach my goal), it throws a wrench in my whole day, and I feel like I've failed AGAIN.
I need to stop this because it's really self destructive and negative. It doesn't go along at all with my 2011 goal (there's that word again) #3:
3. Become more satisfied with myself and my efforts.
I specifically set forth very unspecific "goals" for 2011, yet I have spent a lot of time this January laying out specific plans for myself with regard to running and working out. I've had a hard time reaching the goals and it hasn't felt good. It feels like I've failed.
So I'm going to try and let go of the specifics (again) and go with the flow, and live a bit more like Leo Babauta suggests by not forcing things and doing what comes naturally; focus on what I'm doing, not what I haven't done or what I "need" to do.
What about you, do you focus too much on goals (future)? If you change goals or abandon them, do you feel like you've failed? Do you think goals are important?