You set a goal, built a habit, accomplished the goal and now it’s all over. What do you do? Sitting at this cornerstone is weird—you’re excited to have just accomplished something, anxious about what to do next (maybe somewhat confused), and a little sad that what you were just working towards is all over. It’s a period of time where you have to keep in mind all the positives because it’s easy to fall into negativity, I know because I am at this point in life. I had been working towards stepping on stage for a bodybuilding competition for 20 weeks. I had established a strict and structured nutrition plan and workout program. Almost everything in my life revolved around this one goal and at times it wasn’t easy but I made it work. Then, after what seemingly felt like an eternity and not that long at all the show was here and I got up on stage and loved it, and then it was over. Now what? For 20 weeks I had eaten almost the same thing (with a little flexibility) for every meal, I worked out at the same time every day, and I did endless amounts of posing practice and cardio—now I have the freedom to eat whatever and whenever I want and to work out or not to work out. During the process I felt like I couldn’t wait for the moment when I could enjoy bread and bananas and oatmeal every day again or when I didn’t feel so exhausted all the time but when the moment finally came I was sad it was all over. I learned a lot about myself through the process but it’s what I decide to do next that I think will truly be the real lesson. While I’m feeling all types of emotions: sad, happy, relieved, nostalgic, excited, etc. I decided to really evaluate what happens next and what we should all do when we reach a goal we’ve set for ourselves.
1. Celebrate all that you have accomplished
Before anything, celebrate what you have done! Whether that is losing the 10 pounds you wanted to lose before summer, running in your first half marathon, PR’ing on a major lift, or competing in any type of competition—celebrate it! Don’t rush straight into the next thing or get let down by your performance at what you set out to do because no matter how you finish, you have finished. You have reached the goal and that in itself should be enough of a celebration.
After celebrating, really sit down and evaluate what you have done. Where you might need improvement, what you did well, what you wished you could have done differently—whatever it might be really evaluate it, really take the time to think about all aspects of not only the goal that was achieved but the process to get there.
3. Set a new goal
Probably the most important step after completing one goal is to make another. Don’t just jump straight into something else though. After you have really taken the time to think about what you have just accomplished and what you can do better, then sit down to make another goal. Maybe it is to continue improving upon what you just did or maybe it is something completely different but whatever it is don’t be complacent. The worst thing we can do after completing a goal is be satisfied, always stay hungry for improvement because there is always something that can be done better.
As for myself, I look at my 20 weeks of preparation and my one day of competition and couldn’t be more proud of all the things I have accomplished. My mental and physical toughness have improved ten-fold but I know for a fact that I could have done things differently and better both throughout the process and on show day. But that’s the beauty of fitness or about life in general, we always have a chance to improve we just have to take that opportunity and run with it. We can let our mistakes paralyze us or we can use them to light a fire for the next thing—as for me, I choose to ignite the fire. I hope everyone chooses to ignite the fire because there is always more in each and every one of us to do better, to be better, and to accomplish more.