Little Goals to Achieve Big Ones

Another little gain today. Which is fine. I kind of expected it. Since going off the 28 Day Reset, I’ve been treating myself to a daily Reese’s Peanut Butter Egg. And some frappucinos. And a lemon bar. I’ve not been making the best decisions, so it’s time to get back on track and cut the crap out again. Anyway. That’s not the point of this post at all.

I’m not sure how I was reminded of it, but this is a little story I’ve told once before in some past blog life. I think it works well here too, so I’m going to share it again.

A few years ago, I told myself I wanted to be more active. I hate exercise and going to the gym, and I wanted to do something more outdoorsy. So I decided to ride a bike. Boyfriend is big into biking so I at least had a partner in crime to do these rides with. Our city is big on creating trails and bike paths that crisscross the city, so there was one literally across the street from where we lived. Amazing! We could go all the time! Except he’s into the big fancy expensive bikes that weigh like 8 pounds TOTAL, and I had a crappy rusted monstrosity of mountain bike that I could barely lift. And him being an active biker, while I hadn’t ridden in a good 10 years meant he could ride circles around me. He probably could have ridden to the edge of the county and back before I made it more than 2 miles. Which made it a little frustrating and not a lot of fun to ride.

But I had been determined. I was going to ride. We made a goal that I would ride 15 miles at least once that summer. At one point, I made it about 10 and was super proud, but that wasn’t the goal. The goal was 15. So we picked a day and a nice flat trail to try to beat the goal.

Turns out the day we picked was one of the windiest days of the year. Constant wind of about 10-15 mph with gusts upwards of 30-40 mph. And we were riding STRAIGHT INTO IT for the first 7.5 miles before we would turn around and ride back. I. wanted. to. die.

There was no way I was going to make it. I couldn’t ride into the wind for 7 miles. I could barely ride into it for 7 FEET. I was going at a snail’s pace because I could barely pedal. But I couldn’t give up. This was the day we picked and I knew Boyfriend wouldn’t let me live it down if I just gave up. But the end was so far away. So I picked a closer point. We were riding next to this wooden fence, so I told myself, “just get to that fence post. That’s your goal.” And when I got to the fence post, I picked another one a little further down. When I got to that, I picked a tree in front of me.

I kept doing this the whole way. I rode an entire 15 miles, 50 feet at a time. It was a struggle. There were times where I felt like I wasn’t even moving, but I just kept my next goal in sight, and slowly, achingly made my way there. And then I’d celebrate it and immediately pick a new landmark. It took forever, and I wanted to die by the end, but I made it. I rode 15 miles!

I still think about this day from time to time. It pops back up in my memory every so often. I use the memory as a life lesson. It was just a bike ride that day, but it’s so much more now. It’s a metaphor. We have these big goals we set for ourselves, and sometimes we’re met with so much adversity while we’re trying to get there. We’re riding headfirst into the wind and we feel like we’re getting no where. It’s discouraging and we want to give up because that goal is so far away and we’ll never make it. But if we focus on the little goals along the way that are achievable, eventually we’ll be there before we even realize it.

I’m going to remember this for my weight loss. I have a long way to go to where I want to be. It’s going to take awhile and it’s going to be hard. But if I just focus on the next pound I lose, the next 5 pounds, getting to see that different middle number when I cross 10 pounds. That’s the goal I’m looking toward. I’ll celebrate my progress and set my sights on the next goal. And eventually, if I keep working at it, I’ll be where I want to be.

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