Saturday, July 10, 2010

Changing Your Goals (by Lizzy Ostro)

If you’re reading this, you’re most likely a pretty driven person with a set of goals that you wish to accomplish. Not just anyone can walk on stage in 5 inch heels and a bikini with confidence. The dedication and hard work that is put into those few minutes on stage is grinding, but absolutely worth it.

Most of us set goals a few times per year. A lot of time is spent thinking about these goals and when we write them down, they are set in stone. But should that always be the case?

If we set out goals and do not complete them, we all feel like failures. There may be many reasons that your goals weren’t accomplished, but if you did all that you could, there is no reason to get down on yourself about it. Rather, maybe it’s time to change your goals. Maybe you were a bit ambitious with your goals, and this might be just the right time to adjust your goals and reevaluate what you want out of life.

It can be pretty easy to get caught up in competing. I, for one, take the sport very seriously and sometimes forget that there is another world outside of competing. I’ve only competed in two shows, but my training, eating, and sleeping schedule all revolve around getting my body to the condition that I want it in. I’m not always perfect, but I strive to be perfect and that is what keeps me engaged in my training. I am a very competitive person, and I won’t step on stage unless I feel that I am bringing the best package I possibly can to the stage. There will always be more shows. I repeat, there will ALWAYS BE MORE SHOWS.

Recently, I was faced with a dilemma. This entire year I had been planning to compete at a national show. First plan was Jr. Nationals, but when push came to shove, that wasn’t going to happen for financial reasons. NPC USA’s was next on the list and I began dieting about 16 weeks out for this show. Last week, at just 4.5 weeks out from the show, I decided that this wasn’t my show, and that I would not be competing. The measures that I would have to take to be ready for this show weren’t the healthiest, and even still didn’t guarantee the look that I wanted. I risked burning off the muscle that I worked extremely hard for, and my mind was telling me that this just wasn’t my show. Stepping away from a show after training hard for 12 weeks was and is really tough. It made me feel like I was quitting, and that I was a big F-word. No, not that word; this one: failure.

I thought about it for a few days and came to this conclusion. The goal that I set for myself was a great goal, but had I continued to strive for it, I would have sacrificed my health and body. For someone who is looking to do just one show and be done with it, this might be acceptable to them. For the 12 weeks that I did prepare for it, I put in 100% of my efforts. My diet was spot on and so was my training. I can’t be mad at myself for doing all that I could. My body just wasn’t ready for it and I can’t force it.

I like competing, and I want to continue to compete for as long as I enjoy it. And in order for me to do that, I need to think long-term. I came to a big realization while I was thinking about all of this. In order to get long-term results, you need long-term goals. If that means that I won’t be able to step on stage until August, September, or even October, then so what. What is the rush? As far as I can see, competitions aren’t going anywhere. Maybe changing your goals isn’t such a bad thing after all. As long as it isn’t an excuse used to put OFF your goals, it can be beneficial to your mind and your body. Work hard every day towards the things you want out of life and don’t ever lose sight of that.

As I continue to grow on my journey as a bikini competitor, it amazes me how many new things I learn each day. This new lesson has taught me another side of patience that I hadn’t encountered before and has left me with a new mantra: Short term goals will only get me short term results, and I’m in this for the long haul.

No comments: