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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    MI
    Posts
    2,543

    Achieving Goal = Losing Interest

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    Anyone every experience this: you work so hard to achieve a certain goal and then when you finally "arrive" you lose interest?

    I have two examples. For the last 2 years I really wanted to race Expert mountain bike. I trained hard, lost a couple of pounds and finally placed at a race in Expert Cat--against a decent size, competitive field of women. I thought that would motivate me to train and work harder to improve beyond that. But since that point last fall, I've lost interest. Now that I know I can do it, I don't feel like I need to anymore. As much as I try to rouse my motivation, I can't. I don't know if I even want to race anymore.

    Example 2: Since I began my design career 14 years ago (while I was still in college) all I wanted to do was advance to Art Director position and concept Book covers. It took awhile, but I recently got the promotion I've wanted for almost half my life. And now that I'm here, I find myself scanning the want ads and looking for not only a new job but a career change all together!

    What is WRONG with me? And I even enjoy Art Directing! Agh! I'm screwed up in the head.
    2005 Giant TCR2
    2012 Trek Superfly Elite AL
    2nd Sport, Pando Fall Challenge 2011 and 3rd Expert Peak2Peak 2011
    2001 Trek 8000 SLR
    Iceman 2010-6th Place AG State Games, 2010-1st Sport, Cry Baby Classic 2010-7th Expert, Blackhawk XTerra Tri 2007-3rd AG

    Occasionally Updated Blog

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    where the wind comes sweeping down the plain
    Posts
    5,251
    YES! I can totally relate.
    Both times I've trained hard to do an iron distance triathlon, I felt that way for a couple years afterward. The first time I didn't race for 3 years afterward, this time I haven't raced at all this year. It's like "ok, I did that- what's next?"

    I haven't felt that way about my career, yet I feel that way about owning our own house. We saved, we bought, we almost have it paid off, and now I want to sell it and start over someplace new (in a much smaller house on much more land).

    Nothing is wrong with you, I think that sometimes we set such huge goals that working towards them is our only focus. When you finally achieve that, you have nothing left to work towards so you need to find a new challenge that inspires you. You just have to look and find out what that will be.
    I have to figure that out for myself...
    Check out my running blog: www.turtlepacing.blogspot.com

    Cervelo P2C (tri bike)
    Bianchi Eros (commuter/touring road bike)

    1983 Motobecane mixte (commuter/errand bike)
    Cannondale F5 mountain bike

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    3,176
    Years ago, I told my therapist that I thought I needed some goals. His answer really surprised me; he said, "Okay... Why?"

    I thought everyone needed goals, but I I don't really think that anymore. Well, apart from having a grocery list, or a to do list when I'm likely to get distracted.
    Each day is a gift, that's why it is called the present.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    West MI
    Posts
    4,259
    I totally get this. I have 2 BAs--one in Photography and one in English Lit. Now I hardly ever take photos (aside from silly ones with my cell phone) or read. I worked so hard for those degrees and did really well in school, but it's like getting those degrees sorta killed my interest.
    Kirsten
    run/bike log
    zoomylicious


    '11 Cannondale SuperSix 4 Rival
    '12 Salsa Mukluk 3
    '14 Seven Mudhoney S Ti/disc/Di2

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Western Canada-prairies, mountain & ocean
    Posts
    6,984
    Years ago, I told my therapist that I thought I needed some goals. His answer really surprised me; he said, "Okay... Why?"

    I thought everyone needed goals, but I don't really think that anymore.
    Having goals is good when young and needing self-direction and focus or surmounting some large personal setbacks. At the same time, I know myself that if I had created a shopping list in life, I would have not allowed myself to go down paths I never dreamt of.

    And cycling was one of the biggest surprises to me.

    I've done things career wise that I've wanted, and more..meaning the people I met because of my jobs. Just incredible. I look at job ads now..and feel bored.

    But career drive is not the same now as before. Now, I'm just comfortable, grateful where I've been and where I am now. (It does help I have 12 more yrs. of work. Not 25-30 more yrs.)

    I'm happy with cycling where I've gone, seen, etc. But there was never a real "goal" here except cycling often, lots some times, and seeing new stuff every year...whether on home turf or elsewhere. I've never competed and don't want to. (I guess that's a "goal". Not to compete in races.)

    Maybe limewave, is just let things be for awhile and just continue cycling. Go with the flow.
    Last edited by shootingstar; 08-06-2012 at 06:47 AM.
    My Personal blog on cycling & other favourite passions.
    遙知馬力日久見人心 Over a long distance, you learn about the strength of your horse; over a long period of time, you get to know whatís in a personís heart.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Everett, WA
    Posts
    37
    I have definitely had that experience. I ran two half marathons and now I can't seem to make myself run even a mile. It is depressing to lose all of that fitness but . . . I just have lost all interest about something I was really passionate about a few months ago. Strange.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Columbia, MO
    Posts
    2,041
    As part of planning my next big bike tour-- 40 State Parks of Missouri that have campgrounds, 2000 miles, 45 days, in 2014-- I am already addressing the question of "What's next?" The reason I started thinking about it already is because every time I go through our route, I get a little sad when I look at the last day. I thought "I need something to plan to alleviate the sadness I'll feel when the tour is over!"

    But I know from experience that when the tour is over there will be a period of time where I hardly touch the bike outside of daily commuting.

    That is the problem with goals. When you've achieved them, they're done.
    2009 Trek 7.2FX WSD, brooks Champion Flyer S, commuter bike

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    MI
    Posts
    2,543
    Quote Originally Posted by Melalvai View Post
    That is the problem with goals. When you've achieved them, they're done.
    So true. I felt a period of depression after running my first (and only) marathon. I just thought with these two particular 'goals' that they were more 'milestones' that would drive me to further 'success' in those areas. Especially when it comes to my career.

    I had put my career goals on hold for the last couple of years and enjoyed experiencing less stress and all the perks of a lower-level job: working from home, flexible hours, etc. I was bored out of my tree with the work, but the benefits were great. This promotion came out of nowhere. I'm a bit shocked that I've been on the job for 6 weeks, loving the work and yet I'm daydreaming about new (and less lucrative) careers.

    I think that after this fall I'm going to let racing go for awhile. I'm a sponsored rider on a team this year so I need to make a minimal attempt at training and racing for a little longer . . . Sigh.
    2005 Giant TCR2
    2012 Trek Superfly Elite AL
    2nd Sport, Pando Fall Challenge 2011 and 3rd Expert Peak2Peak 2011
    2001 Trek 8000 SLR
    Iceman 2010-6th Place AG State Games, 2010-1st Sport, Cry Baby Classic 2010-7th Expert, Blackhawk XTerra Tri 2007-3rd AG

    Occasionally Updated Blog

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    208
    I can totally relate to your "post challenge" letdown. After many years of attaining "goals" and then losing interest in whatever I had attained, I have found that it is the journey that is most important for me, not the destination.
    JEAN

    2011 Specialized Ruby Elite - carbon fiber go-fast bike
    DiamondBack Expert - steel road bike
    Klein Pinnacle - classic no-suspension aluminum MTB

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    MI
    Posts
    2,543
    1) I feel a HUGE weight has lifted since I've admitted on here this morning that I no longer want to race

    2) I feel better already about staying in my current job.

    Moving on from racing frees me up to explore new things which is what I am really craving.
    2005 Giant TCR2
    2012 Trek Superfly Elite AL
    2nd Sport, Pando Fall Challenge 2011 and 3rd Expert Peak2Peak 2011
    2001 Trek 8000 SLR
    Iceman 2010-6th Place AG State Games, 2010-1st Sport, Cry Baby Classic 2010-7th Expert, Blackhawk XTerra Tri 2007-3rd AG

    Occasionally Updated Blog

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    MI
    Posts
    63
    Totally get it. I thrive on challenges and then once it's attained the desire to keep going is gone. It's like I have to find another challenge to keep me motivated.
    Felt F65
    Specialized Crux Expert Force (My baby)

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    where ARE we?
    Posts
    429
    OMG I feel so much better. About everything.
    I trained hard to ride my first Century last year - it's a really hilly one, with a three-mile climb at mile 72. I did it and... have hardly ridden at all since.
    I thought I wanted to be an editor. Well, it doesn't take much to master good grammar if you are good at it to begin with, so I was bored to tears. Needed a new challenge.
    Went into graphic design. After a few years I was designing some amazeballs things. Annual Reports, logos, designing whole publications. Again, bored to tears.
    I loved the past two years, where I did four somewhat menial jobs - at a garden center, a handmade gift shop, as a waitress and as a cook for a bed and breakfast. Every day was different. But I wasn't making money and that doesn't make hubby happy.
    So I started back into interior design. It's okay, I do love it, and styles are always changing and trends are different and every client is different. But... Okay. Here I am now.
    Now I am studying German to get it back to par as fast as I can because maybe I can land a job with a German company in Chatty. Use my advertising experience, marketing, editing, etc.
    Except I know I will be bored. So I have also gone back to martial arts, two different styles, to keep myself occupied.
    Yep. Jump jump jump.
    2009 Fuji Team

    My blog - which rarely mentions cycling. It's really about decorating & food. http://www.crisangsteninteriors.com/blog

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    West MI
    Posts
    4,259
    Quote Originally Posted by Hi Ho Silver View Post
    I have found that it is the journey that is most important for me, not the destination.
    Me, too.

    Grey, my very favorite job was working in a one-hour photo lab. I got to be around Photography and help novice photographers learn more and improve their photos. And I got to live vicariously through travel photos. Every day brought new things to see and people to meet. I liked substitute teaching, too, since I got to "teach," but didn't have the stress of lesson plans and standardized tests or dealing with the few jerky kids for more than an hour here and there, not daily.
    Kirsten
    run/bike log
    zoomylicious


    '11 Cannondale SuperSix 4 Rival
    '12 Salsa Mukluk 3
    '14 Seven Mudhoney S Ti/disc/Di2

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    where ARE we?
    Posts
    429
    Quote Originally Posted by zoom-zoom View Post
    Me, too.

    Grey, my very favorite job was working in a one-hour photo lab. I got to be around Photography and help novice photographers learn more and improve their photos. And I got to live vicariously through travel photos. Every day brought new things to see and people to meet. I liked substitute teaching, too, since I got to "teach," but didn't have the stress of lesson plans and standardized tests or dealing with the few jerky kids for more than an hour here and there, not daily.
    In college I worked produce at Publix. I loved it - even though at the time, I didn't eat fruits and veggies (now I'm vegetarian and that's mostly all I eat). The hours flew by, I got a workout running big boxes out of the cooler and onto the floor, met some nice people. It was good.
    2009 Fuji Team

    My blog - which rarely mentions cycling. It's really about decorating & food. http://www.crisangsteninteriors.com/blog

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Whitmore Lake, Michigan
    Posts
    920
    Quote Originally Posted by limewave View Post
    Anyone every experience this: you work so hard to achieve a certain goal and then when you finally "arrive" you lose interest?

    I have two examples. For the last 2 years I really wanted to race Expert mountain bike. I trained hard, lost a couple of pounds and finally placed at a race in Expert Cat--against a decent size, competitive field of women. I thought that would motivate me to train and work harder to improve beyond that. But since that point last fall, I've lost interest. Now that I know I can do it, I don't feel like I need to anymore. As much as I try to rouse my motivation, I can't. I don't know if I even want to race anymore.

    Example 2: Since I began my design career 14 years ago (while I was still in college) all I wanted to do was advance to Art Director position and concept Book covers. It took awhile, but I recently got the promotion I've wanted for almost half my life. And now that I'm here, I find myself scanning the want ads and looking for not only a new job but a career change all together!

    What is WRONG with me? And I even enjoy Art Directing! Agh! I'm screwed up in the head.
    Limewave,

    There is nothing WRONG with you and achieving a goal is, in itself, a loss and can cause depression. The first time I achieved a major goal in my life I found myself in the same place you are now. It just so happend that the achievement came after a bout with cancer so I was under doctor's care and I discussed this with him, he is the one who told me that achievement is a loss (we love to strive for things) and when the strive part is over we get depressed over losing that enjoyable part. The journey is often more fun that the destination.

    Since I had also just passed through the cancer thing my mind was correlating the achievement with end of life like "gee my life must be over now because I achieved something that I thought would take many many more years." The Dr. pointed out, "well make more goals." Duh. It was so simple and I could not see that. I had been too caught up in getting there. I was in my late twenties then and it took another decade to fully appreciate the journey more than the destination. It was the beginning of learning to live in the here and now and really enjoy living in the present moment.

    It is human nature to constantly look forward and we all play this "...I'll be happy when..." game with ourselves. It's a life changing experience when we shift our thinking and focus to this statement, "...I am happy..." When we do that life suddenly becomes richer and fuller. I think you are experiencing that shift in perspective with your statement that you are feeling much better now that you've decided not to race.

    Wishing you much continued success with every accomplishment!
    Bike Writer

    http://pedaltohealth.blogspot.com/

    Schwinn Gateway unknown year
    Specalized Expedition Sport Low-Entry 2011

 

 

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