This past June I asked the members who attend my Weight Watchers meetings to set a summer goal and asked them where they wanted to be when September arrived. Goals help to keep us focused and give us something to strive for. And summer can be a difficult time… routine changes, kids home, travel, visitors, hot days and so much more can make summer a challenge when on this journey of weight loss and improved health. So I asked them what would make them feel successful this summer and set the goal.
And then I did what I asked them to do and I set a summer goal for myself as well. This summer I wanted to focus on what would get me back on track, help me feel more in control and help me to continue improving my health….physically and mentally.
This year we got a pool in our backyard… really we had an entire yard built for us, pool and so much more. The pool has been my calm place, my meditative place, and my active space. I love the water. Our pool is 31 feet in length so that I could swim laps. I love to swim the length of our pool over and over. It is so soothing.
It was while I was in the pool that I decided on my summer goal—I would swim the length of our pool 100 times. When I set the goal I was swimming 10 lengths and then pausing before doing another 10. So, okay, goal set! It may take me all summer….maybe into the first week of September, but I was going to do it.
A month into the summer I got up early one morning and swam 70 lengths of the pool… 70! This was going to be easy to hit my summer goal.
And then I went back to 50 lengths. It was hard to keep track of the laps in my head and starting out it sounded like a lot to do. But I was still enjoying my swim time.
In July I joined a team to participate in another challenge that got me walking again and had me figuring out how many lengths in the pool I would need to do to swim a mile—170! That was too many! 85 lengths for half a mile was more achievable and would help me get to my summer goal, so I started swimming a half mile in the mornings…. Not every morning, but some. It felt good, but boy was I tired by the 85 length.
A quarter of a mile was more achievable for me, so that became my normal swim. And then last week I checked in with my members to see how their summer goals were going…we were now in our last month of our summer goal. And that is when I realized I still had not met my goal. I had until the end of the month to achieve the goal of swimming 100 lengths of our pool… 3100 feet!
Yesterday I didn’t have a chance to get in the pool, so I decided last night that I would get up and swim early this morning and just add 5 lengths to my half mile for a total of 90. Okay I could do that! It was just another 5 beyond what I had already shown I could do. And then by next weekend I could hit my goal.
This morning I got up early and stepped into the cool water in our pool. I needed some way to keep track of these laps because 90 was a lot and I knew I would get lost in my thoughts. And really, 90 seemed like way too much. How would I do this?
Determined to do this swim, I grabbed 9 small rocks from our yard, 1 rock for every 10 lengths of the pool. Okay, looking at the rocks, yes that seemed doable. And I began to swim…. First 10 and a pause to move one rock to another area.
And I swam another 10, moving another rock. Wow, this was easier than I thought. I was focusing on 10 at a time and I didn’t need to count higher. Each rock I moved meant I had done 10 and then I would say I could do another 10. I kept going and before I knew it I had more rocks in the done pile than in the need to do pile. That was motivating.
Finally, I moved that 9th rock! Done. But I could do 10 more to hit my goal. I know I can…. So I did another 10. 100 laps, 3100 feet, more than half a mile! I was so thrilled to have achieved a goal I had set for myself…..
And then I thought well, how many for a mile….. okay let’s see what I can do. And I grabbed 7 more rocks, not really expecting to get to 170 lengths but I was going to go until I was too tired to go any farther…. And I swam, focusing on 10 at a time and moving a rock after every 10. After moving 3 of those rocks, having now completed 130 lengths of my pool, my mind was telling me that I had already gone beyond my goal, did I really need to continue?
Yes, the mind is powerful and my mind, my doubts, were working to get me to stop, to be happy with what I had achieved. I had reached my summer goal a week early and didn’t need to do more. And yes, I was very happy with myself at that moment, but as I moved that 4th rock, I said, just 10 more….. and I kept going….. just 10 more…..
And then I moved that last rock. I had done it! 1 hour and 15 minutes after starting, I had completed 170 lengths in my pool and 1 mile!! I DID IT!
Not only did I hit my summer goal, I crushed it! I pushed through my thoughts of stopping and completed something I wasn’t sure I could do. I kept going. And it was because I broke the bigger goal into smaller goals. Saying I was going to swim 100 laps seemed daunting, but 10…well that I could do. And when I reached that 100, I was able to push myself outside that comfort zone beyond what I thought I could do and go farther, 10 lengths at a time. Just 10.
Weight Watchers is about more than counting points and losing weight….so much more. Because of Weight Watchers I have learned so many skills, changed habits, discovered just how much I can do, and found a belief in me that my younger self never dreamed was possible. I am grateful for all that I have learned and continue to learn through my journey with Weight Watchers, becoming the best and healthiest version of me that I can be.
Setting goals keeps me motivated and gives me something to strive for. And when the long-term goal seems too big or too far away or unreachable, setting a smaller goal makes it more achievable. And that is what I did this morning, just 10 at a time and all those 10’s added up to a BIG 170!! Reaching goals, well it feels AMAZING! It gives me a boost in my confidence and has me feeling like I can take on anything and conquer it! IT may take some time, I may not be perfect at it, but I will get there. One step at a time, one small goal at a time!
I will get there by taking that leap….. one small leap at a time!