Goal setting at Back Class today and I have to admit I was not looking forward to this one. Goals, goals, goals..... hmmm... where to start? It seems to me that the world today is very "goal" or "target" led. In fact, it has almost become fashionable to set yourself an aim. Everyone is doing it; - hospitals, schools, public services, individuals, fat clubs, sales, bad back groups - sometimes it feels as though we are obsessed with it to the exclusion of all else. Setting goals gives you something to strive for....provides motivation....gives you a reason for doing what you are doing....an aim - this is the mantra of the goal-setting disciples. And of course, they are right, setting a goal will do all these things; it will also frustrate you, upset you and set you back if you miss it or provide you with a hefty lump of guilt and title of "Failure 1st Class", if you give up. Like a lot of other things, the art of goal-setting seems to work better for some people than others. There are those that can really "buy into" the whole ethos of the thing, whilst others find it a hindrance and too restrictive to their style. Normally, I find it useful just as long as I do not allow myself to become beholden to it. The world will not fall down if I miss my goal; neither will I become a 2nd class citizen who's self worth is way beneath the life radar.
The next important thing to think about is the size of your goal, because this can certainly affect whether you land yourself in the "Top of the World Ma" camp or the "Hopeless Emptiness" camp. Best advice I can give? Baby steps to start with - don't set yourself up for failure. Leave shooting for the moon to something that doesn't involve physical pain.
So, here I am, paired off with another participant of the class (numbers have dwindled down to 5 from the original 12 starters - where have all the others gone I wonder?) and the discussion goes something like this: PHYSIO: What personal goal would you like to set then?: MAN: I would like to get back to doing my mountain cycling. I cycled here this morning & it took about 20 minutes, so I would like to expand on that. (Now, I would just like to say here that I am not deriding or criticising this guy by any means - in fact I take my hat off to him for even being able to do this - I'm not sure I could have done it even before I hurt my back!). It's my turn next. ME: Umm.... I would like to be able to get into my car without getting stuck or yelping in agony. (I did want to say: I want to be able to put my underwear on in the morning without the excruciating and crippling shooting pains, but I felt too self-conscious to publicly discuss my knickers in front of Cycling Man, so I kept schtum). RESULT: Cycling Man feels he is a phoney for being at Back Class and being able to do things that I obviously can't, while my self-esteem loses on goal difference.
Goal setting can be useful and often is, but I wonder how much of this particular goal-setting exercise was actually in itself a goal set by the Health Service? Please tick here.....
TODAY'S LEMON RATING: 5.5 out of 10 (My goal needs to be taken in baby steps)