Goals are a fruitless endeavor. More so, people who set goals, and make it known, are braggers and attention-seekers. They are immature, self-centered, and use this a means to make the rest of us feel like we’re a bunch of losers for not having goals.
At least, I use to think so. In retrospect I realize why I felt that way: I was hesitant to set goals because I was afraid to fail.
In April 2010 I endured the most heart-breaking loss of my life, that of my dad at age 63 due to his poor health habits. At the time I was 40 years old and weighed over 400 pounds. I had a host of obesity-related health conditions and, to make matters worse, I had lost my will to live.
After witnessing my father pass away right before my eyes, I made a promise to myself and to my mom- That I wasn’t going to let my dad’s death be in vain. I told her that we needed to learn something from his poor health habits.
Over the next few years since my dad’s passing I made numerous attempts to try to lose weight only to fail over and over again. I had even contacted several local hospitals for information on weight loss surgery. After attending an information session for the surgery I decided that the risks involved were not worth it. I also felt that it was just a substitute for something I needed to learn to do in order for this change to be sustainable: Build new health habits.
In June 2014 I set out on one of the most challenging endeavors of my life. I embarked on a health journey determined to lose as much as I possibly could. I also knew that I needed to be patient and focus more on new habits rather than just focusing on the scale.
Over the next few months I did not see much physical results. I tried hard to not let it discourage me. I made many mistakes along the way, fell down numerous times, got discouraged, but I never stopped. I had faith that over time these new habits, and the consistent building of them, were going to improve my health. And it did. In less than a year I had lost over 200 pounds. Completely on my own. No surgery. No coach. Just me, my food tracking app, and a promise.
Without realizing it I had set a goal. A goal stemming from a promise that I had made. I came to realize the power of setting goals. Because without them I was directionless and would never get anything done. It took me years to understand this, that my fear of failure was holding me back. I learned that these failures became opportunities to learn and make improvements. That was the only way I was going to grow.
Over the next few years since my transition I have been setting goals along the way. Continuing to challenge myself to grow and giving me something to strive for. I have accomplished way more than I thought I ever would in my life- Losing over 200 pounds on my own, getting worldwide recognition, and the opportunity to pay it forward. This has given me a new life and a sense of purpose which I never felt like I had before.
I am blessed to be here today healthy and happy. I love my new life and the fact that my story has motivated others. My purpose and mission in life are to inspire people to take charge of their lives and their health by being an example of what is possible.
I set goals for myself all of the time now. And I still fail often, but I never give up. I have faith in a higher power which is leading me and helping me understand that my life has a greater purpose and without goals I will never realize it.
At one time in my life I felt like a loser and hated myself. I know now that I was the only one who could change that by making a promise, creating a goal that has forever changed my life for good.