Having goals are good, but do you have to sacrifice fun to achieve them?
At the beginning of the year I had listed “Participate in a 5K run” as one of my “firsts” to do this year. I wanted to do something new every day for a whole year. The goal seemed very achievable to me because after jogging/walking the 5K trail by my house for the past few years, it doesn’t seem that long of a distance.
I found out about a 5K here in San Diego that was taking place in March, so I started training for it in January. Little by little I built up my stamina by running in my neighborhood. I even got to the point where I was able to run 1.5 miles without stopping, which was a pretty big deal for me.
Then one day I found myself not very motivated to run at all. I pushed myself to go running anyway, but these questions popped in my mind:
Do I really like to run?
Am I having fun doing this?
The answer that came was “No...and heck, no.”
That’s when I really started analyzing my true intentions for running this 5K. What I came to realize is that I was just doing it to cross off something that was on the To Do list. I’ve never thoroughly enjoyed running. Even when I played basketball in high school, I dreaded the suicide drills. (Come to think of it, who really enjoys suicide drills?!) I understand that running can help you become more fit, healthy, and blah, blah, blah, but it’s just not for me. I love zumba and hiking much better.
Well, I ended up not participating in the 5K. Besides, I didn’t want to get up at 4:30 in the freakin’ morning. If you know me, that’s not enjoyable at all.
Many of us do things that we don’t enjoy to achieve our goals, but why sacrifice fun in the moment just to cross off something on the To Do list? We go to a job we hate because “it pays the bills” or we take on projects because we think it will look good on our resume.
If you've ever watched a young child color or work on any type of creative project, you'll notice how much fun they're having being in the moment. Imagine creating a work of art and not having fun creating it. What's the point?
What I’m not saying here is that you should get rid of a goal if you have a few setbacks along the way. There may days where you might not feel inspired to work towards a goal, and that’s OK. Make the process enjoyable, have fun in the present moment, and don’t focus on the goal so much. If the goal is something you truly want to achieve and will have long-lasting benefits, then keep going!