“Crystallize it. A fuzzy goal isn’t a goal.”

The words of my spin instructor this evening at 24 Hour Fitness. (who knew I could find inspiration for a post behind words of a spin instructor!)

And man, that hit me upside the head like a ton of bricks. Her words had such power for me tonight, after a tough day at work for me, mentally.

I’ve mentioned before how much these trips take out of me, and how much more ‘on’ I feel I need to be when I am in-person and trying to ‘put on the face’ I can hide a bit when I’m working from home (easier to convey confidence on a phone call!). I was feeling *way* over my head on a few things at work, and that, combined with being told I should move my flight out a bit later on Thursday to attend a meeting was making me feel close to the verge of tears.

But tonight’s class? Wow. Some of the words she spoke were meant to be heard by me tonight. I crazily jotted them down in my phone (and drafted a fun ‘diary of a spin class’ post for my sister’s blog as a guest post because besides feeling inspired, that class was effing no joke!! Was awesome and pukeworthy…my favorite kind. Yes I’m serious.).

Some good ones:

“Crystallize your goal. Because a fuzzy goal isn’t a goal. Close your eyes.ย  Name two things you want to reach. What are they? Do you see them?”

“Go one step before breathless. Push yourself.”

“Your body can do this, it’s your mind that will stop you. Trust your body”

In my mind: my two goals? Confidence (at work), and the ability to run another half marathon (this one’s been looming over me and stressing me, because I’m still struggling my way back to half marathon running ability and the breathing is going to take work for me, moreso than I thought).

As we pushed through some extremely difficult intervals on our bikes, I visualized the hell out of those two goals and you know what?

It worked.

I really felt like I can tackle the world…one day (and spin class) at a time.

Yeah, maybe it’s a little cheesy. But I firmly believe that class was meant for me two-fold: to push me physically past my comfort zone to a stage in my breathing where I felt panic-stricken and then controlled my breathing (my fear when I run is that very thing happening) and realizing that yeah, I don’t have all the answers at work. I just need to be honest when I don’t and don’t try to fake it every time. Because that’s just gonna get me in trouble, now isn’t it?

So, with that in mind, and the fact that I am absolutely going to meet a few more Cali goals this week – go to the beach (tomorrow, hopefully with Erika in tow!) and a new goal – drive with the top down on the sweet convertible Mustang I scored for the week (I don’t know why that scares me, but it just does!).

My other goal? Squelch homesickness. I really really really want to squelch that. It’s not helping me to feel that way, and I know it’s just a few days…I can handle that, right?

(wow, re-reading this post, I’m kinda all over the place…hopefully you can follow along!).



31 thoughts on ““Crystallize it. A fuzzy goal isn’t a goal.”

  1. physical exertion is sometimes the fastest way to emotional or psychological clarity. if i have to give myself 100% over to the physical enterprise, there’s nothing left to feed the stress, worry, etc.

    i need to hit the gym like WHOA. i could use some clarity!

  2. I feel exhausted just reading your posts about working out… i prefer meditation to gain clarity and visualize goals. You still get to focus and control your breathing, but you don’t sweat as much and your muscles don’t burn ๐Ÿ˜‰

    1. He-he…yeah, spinning isn’t for everyone, just like yoga isn’t for everyone, right? I TRY so hard to like yoga but I just can’t always get into it. Core Fusion is the closest I can get to yoga/pilates type stuff ๐Ÿ˜‰

  3. i have actually tried to take notes with my phone in a fitness class before too! (i’m secretly relieved not to be the only one who’s done this.) some of the wisest words of wisdom i’ve heard have been from a group instructor. no wonder working out can get so addictive!

    ps i hope you’re not feeling homesick. i did international travel for a straight year and it was hard so i kinda have an idea of what you might be feeling. hang in there – it gets easier!

    1. Ha-ha! Yes, I am crazy like that too ๐Ÿ˜‰ One more thing we’ll have in common when we finally meet up hopefully soon!! Homesickness is tough, no matter what. I just want it to wane a bit, ya know?

  4. I think inspiration can be found in those words for all of us. I’m so goal oriented that I love the idea of making sure mine are crystallized.

    You have some good goals, too. Now let the wind rush through your hair. Head to the beach. Top down. And take pictures.

    Big hugs!

  5. YAY for an awesome and inspiring spin class!! So glad it was a good one. It’s amazing how hard you can push yourself when you let go and just do it. I know you’ll get out there for another half. Just have a little faith in yourself.

    As for the homesickness. That may never totally go away. I mean, really, it’s home. Of course you’re going to miss it. But maybe finding some classes and eventually friends out there, it’ll make the trip less sad.

    1. Love a good sweaty workout! SO good. I need all the faith I can get for another half…can you run it for me? ๐Ÿ˜‰ And the homesickness…yeah, I think it’ll always be there, I just don’t want it to be so PRESENT.

  6. LOVE this post, sis! LOVE what the spin instructor said, but more importantly, that it instilled a sense of confidence in yourself, your abilities that you didn’t necessarily have when you walked into that spin studio. I, of course, have FULL confidence in you – both at work and with killing another half – but it’s YOU who has to have that full confidence and I’m glad you’re finally getting there sis. PS. take a pic with the mustang, I’m dying to see it!

    1. Knew you would like it! I hope we can do another half…I really want to. IT’s all in the mind right now. I know, I will take a pic of the car ๐Ÿ˜‰

  7. This hit me hard. Not for the physical aspect. I relate to it more in the workplace right now. My boss has been asking me for awhile now where I see myself eventually, and I always gave him a vague answer. But now I am crystallizing it, and it feels so good…like I can actually accomplish it eventually…with lots of hard work. I’m impressed with your ability to get through that spin class. Not sure I could have done the same!

    1. Aw! Glad you liked the quote too and it struck you the right way. AND give yourself some credit…you could totally do a spin class. Wanna do one with me when you are in Boston in April? ๐Ÿ˜‰

  8. Ya know what, I agree with this quote. I’ve known this for some time but sometimes “crystallizing it” isn’t as easy as it sounds. Or else… I’m scared of what it means if I do crystallize it. Some goals are easier to set than others. Some mean I have to be more honest with myself. Some mean I have to work that much harder…

    I often take quotes from fitness classes and find they fit me in other ways as well. This post TOTALLY spoke to me.

    And funny that you mentioned pushing through that panic in your breath. I am about to start swimming again and I know that I have to do that. It’s scary, finding your calm breath. However I do know that once I do, once I push through the panic and find my calm, I’ll be able to swim for miles.

    Thanks for the inspiration! You go girl!

    1. Aw, glad to inspire ๐Ÿ˜‰ Crystalling a goal or a change IS hard and scary, because sometimes it means doing something you don’t want to, are scared to, or isn’t in your comfort zone (hello me!). So I really liked that part too. And pushing the panic…yes, I loathe that feeling but am trying to push past it and realize, okay, I am so NOT going to die, I will be fine!

  9. I loved this: Your body can do it, it’s your mind that will stop you. This is totally the struggle I have every time I step on to the treadmill. It takes me about five or so minutes to find my groove but in those five minutes, I’m having a mental battle, “Maybe today I’ll just run for 20 minutes …. No! You can do 40! But I was good yesterday and did 30 so it will just be a little reward. No! You can do 40!” and so on and so on until I find my groove. And my body can always do it!

  10. “A fuzzy goal isn’t a goal.”–Touchรฉ, spin instructor. Touchรฉ.

    I’ve really been struggling to get back into running myself, and I thought that keeping my goal a little fuzzy (just get back into it, see how far you can go) would allow me to feel excited about it. All that did was get me slightly injured and even more discouraged. While I’m resting from running for a bit, I’m acquiring knowledge and setting a real goal.

    I love spin class, because they are always giving you motivational nuggets of wisdom, the music pushes you, and there’s something about cycling that gets me amped. My thighs don’t love it the next day, though. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Glad to see you’re of a mind to tackle a few more of your obstacles & challenges. Good luck with them. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Yea, spinning is great for nuggets of wisdom, with the right instructor, for sure! (LOL on the touche!) I am glad you are resting from running, hopefully things improve!

  11. I’m all for visualisation, it really does work. I’ve applied it to the house I’m living in now and to my job I’m in. Though I think at the same time, if something isn’t for you, no amount of visualisation will work if that makes sense.

  12. What a great line! I had never thought about “fuzzy goals,” but I will now. Oh, and I need to work on trusting my body. My mind rarely lets me down, but my body… xoxo

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