This picture is of my dog Star (left) and my Mom’s beloved Bebe (right) having a little puppy party just because I’d walked into the room. It’s good to be acknowledged for doing very little. But it’s also awful.
This Ted Talk says that when you tell people about your goals, your brain signals some of the same satisfaction you’d get from achieving a goal without the effort. This study shows that once you tell someone a goal, you put less effort into completing it.
I am a witness.
I spent 68 weeks on this blog discussing how committed I was to weight loss and healthy living. But before I even reached my goal, I quit. I felt successful just hearing all the “Oooh”s (friends) and “Damn, Girl!”s (me) when people noticed I’d lost 65 pounds. I felt like losing weight was the major accomplishment. I forgot the actual goal was keeping it off. Blame it on the brain.
So now I’m going to tell you a couple of my current goals. Have I learned nothing?!
I want to get back where I was. At 162 pounds I felt frustrated. I was all “Waah Waaahhh! Why can’t I get to 150??” Man oh man, I didn’t know how good I had it! I could reach into my closet and EVERYTHING fit. Now I’m back to not even acknowledging the majority of my closet, the way that, when I was obese, I used to ignore my grocery store’s organic aisle. Sucks.
Also I plan to run the Atlantic City Marathon in October. I’ll register once I can run 10k without knee pain. (Dear marathon gods, pleeease don’t let this be the first year it sells out.) Training for the half marathon last year was fun (wha??) and helped me not to fixate on the scale. Well, not as much as I would have.
So those are my goals. I know the pitfalls of fake success and brain trickery. They won’t get me twice! The key is to focus on how far I have to go, not how far I’ve come. (Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming.) What about you guys? Any goals you don’t want acknowledged?