Friday, June 29, 2012


I've been thinking a little about goals.  Mostly, that I don't have any.

Richard Wiseman has written about goals, and what works and what doesn't work in terms of setting and achieving them.  One apparently does need to have a fairly concrete goal in mind and have it broken down into milestones.  This is what I'm lacking more than anything else.

It's been pointed out to me before when I was looking for a little climbing coaching that my goal of "climbing better" is too esoteric, because how can I know what to focus on if I can't define what climbing better actually means.  Revising it to "climbing harder stuff" wasn't that much use either, or even "climbing harder stuff successfully".   Shame, that.  Maybe this is why I am still not a very good climber.   One could also argue that my career is going nowhere for the same basic reasons.

Not surprisingly, I also have no concrete goals in terms of lifting; "get stronger" probably doesn't help Tara devise a program for me (sorry Tara!).

I started lifting for a number of reasons including dissatisfaction with myself and how weak and fat I felt after climbing-related setbacks, some very friendly encouragement (thanks Tara!), and just straight out admiration for one individual I know personally (that's you, Leenie, if you ever read this) and via the blogosphere.  Lifting, I felt, was a way to kick my own ass back into shape, and simultaneously  (and ideally) getting stronger and thinner, while not hating my life as much as if I had attempted to start running again.  Another secret reason (one that I've not verbally expressed before now), is that I'm getting older and I've a couple of fingers with the signs and symptoms of overuse injuries and I don't get to choose where I live for awhile... all of which means that I may not be able to climb to a level of my satisfaction indefinitely.  I need something else to be there, when the climbing goes.

Lifting, thankfully, is becoming a thing for me in its own right.  It will theoretically remain a secondary thing as long as I can keep climbing, but I'm starting to realise that I might want to set some goals to this some day.  I have no idea what those goals should be.  I'm leery about setting looks-related goals, as they may lead me to hate my body and fear mirrors more than I do.  I'm not sure I could set lift goals, because what's reasonable, and what will require lifting to become the thing, over climbing (which is not what I want just yet).

So what are reasonable goals?

This weekend I'm off to Rumney to climb.  There, I'm going to be thinking about setting some climbing-specific goals... concrete ones this time.  Things I can aim for.  Wish me luck!


  1. Set lifting goals. You are capable of 10x what you think you're capable of, and 100x what your mother thinks you are. Not my original adage but one I use a lot now. Do not set aesthetics goals. You will not be satisfied. My body looks better than it ever has and...I just don't really care. Looking better does nothing to make my life better. It honestly doesn't. I know for a fact that there are women who really want various aspects of the way my body currently looks, and...uh...I don't really get it. It's not going to GIVE them anything. What the hell can you DO with good-looking? Seriously? You can make money with it, wave it around at a club, whore yourself out on fb and pretend that gives you any amount of real social're not fulfilling anything that has to do with the SELF when it comes to what your body looks like. Argh. Argh. I have been through a lot with this question--I have starved myself down to below 90 pounds, have purposefully bulked up to the "overweight" range, have learned how to not give a damn what my body LOOKS like. Do men judge their worth based on their appearance? I swear to you that the number of those who is completely overwhelmed by the number of women who do. Do NOT be a part of that ratio. It's bullshit. Please don't.

    And don't sell yourself short as far as what you're capable of in terms of weightlifting. I am capable of so much more than I ever thought possible. So are you. The first thing I would tell you, were I your coach, what be that you are not allowed to limit yourself. You literally do not know what you're capable of developing into, so it makes no logical sense to set limits, even ones that seem to make sense...because they might not seem like limits at all in a year. You can't lift thinking in limits because you have to believe in yourself 100% when you're pushing for some PR or whathaveyou. Alright, I'm cutting this off because I'm totally soapboxing here.

    1. "What the hell can you DO with good-looking?" ... best freaking quote ever. I am going to spread that one around.

      No worries. I know better than to set aesthetics goals, even though I promised myself a certain pair of overpriced pants as a reward if ever I got visible abs (that's more for amusement and potentially justifying the pants than anything else). Aesthetic goals just contribute to self-loathing, and I don't need anymore contributing to that as I've got it covered. Also, as you point out, there is never a place of satisfaction with aesthetics. We as women today are very well-trained to always find a flaw with our looks, and if we don't, there's an entire industry waiting to help us out.

      I suspect I'm capable of a more than I might think with lifting (which is kind of a paradox), but what am I capable of now, without lifting becoming my dominant pursuit? What is a reasonable goal to chase at this time and how do I get there?

      I like your advice, to not limit myself. I try not to, but does having modest goals cause an inadvertent self-limitation?