Can we push too hard towards our goals?

Push to your goals

On the road to achieving our goals, we will encounter obstacles and difficulties which will often need an extra effort to overcome. Usually this extra push is a good thing. It confirms that we have the capacity to do even better than we thought we could. It also provides us with the chemical boost in our brain that motivates us to take the next step, and may even be the thing that takes us from ‘unwell’ to ‘well’.

So is there ever a time when the extra push is a step too far?

I’ve been asking myself this question during a week when I’ve been nursing an injury I picked up in the gym. I already knew I was tired. Several factors had added to the fatigue over the course of the week, but we’d been working hard in the gym and I was feeling strong. The coach put up a challenging workout, there were others in the same class who I thought I could keep up with – game on! I managed the set – it was tough and my arms were sore, but I’d done it! Endorphins raced through my head and I felt pretty much invincible. Home for a huge protein-filled breakfast, ignoring the tiredness, and on to work.

Fast forward…

Another gym session and one day later, I noticed how sore my left arm was. A few hours later and I couldn’t straighten it. No gym at all now for 3 days and I’m feeling sorry for myself. The swelling is gradually going down, but normal life has been compromised and I’m wondering if the extra push to complete that set was worth it…….

Follow the path that’s right for you

The fact is, that when we set our sights on a goal, we need to work towards it a pace that feels right for us. A pace that allows us to achieve smaller goals along the way. A sense of failure comes with setting the bar so high that it’s unattainable. On the other hand, recognising that there are many routes to your goal can give you the flexibility to occasionally take a wrong path and still know that you will eventually achieve it. It’s all about learning, being kind to ourselves and carrying on. I’ll be back in the gym tomorrow – using the lessons I learnt this week to give me the confidence to know that I’m still heading for my goals. (Handstands next!)

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