I’ve been reading a really good book lately: “The Happiness Project” by Gretchen Rubin. I highly recommend it. One part of the book really stuck out for me, she talked about something called “The Arrival Fallacy.”
“In his book Happier, Tal Ben-Shahar describes the ‘arrival fallacy’ the belief that when you arrive at a certain destination, you’ll be happy. The arrival fallacy is a fallacy because, though you may anticipate great happiness in arrival, arriving rarely makes you as happy as you anticipate. [pg84]”
This topic really hit home for me because I experienced it. For two years, I was super focused on my goal: losing 100 pounds. I ate, slept, drank losing weight. I wrote down ALL of my food. I worked out ALL the time. I stopped doing fun things like happy hour because I didn’t trust myself to make good choices yet.
When I got closer to reaching that goal, I started getting nervous. The thoughts that occurred to me a lot were, “What happens when I reach goal?” and “What will my new goal be?” I reached my goal–and surpassed it by 10 pounds. I was sooo happy! I really was. But that happiness was a little short lived because I wasn’t sure what to do now.
What to do??
I decided to make myself a new goal. I’d start running and train for a 5K race. I focused on that and it helped me stay on track. I had a new mission! It helped a lot.
Like I posted yesterday, I gained some weight from medication I was taking. That has become one of my new goals. I want to get back to where I was before the medications (143 pounds).
In 2009 I made the following goals for 2010:
1. Stop taking the medication and lose that weight.
2. Compete in Reach The Beach (55 mile bike ride).
3. Train for Hood to Coast (running relay race this August).
Having these SPECIFIC goals with DATES involved has kept me focused and determined to reach these goals.
Something I learned losing 100+ pounds, was to make SMALLER, ACHIEVABLE goals instead of overwhelming goals. My first goal was to lose 50 pounds, my second was 75 pounds. My last goal was to reach the 100 pound mark.
On another note…I had Scottish oats for breakfast. I have Trader Joe’s sugar free applesauce for a snack, leftover soup for lunch, and an apple for this afternoon. Pretty boring foods but I’m eating conservatively since we’re meeting friends for dinner tonight.
I can’t wait to get in the pool after work! Much needed.
QUESTION: Do you set specific goals for yourself? Or do you just go with the flow? And were you ever disappointed when you finally reached a goal?