Early one year, my girls and I visited a University of Oklahoma’s women gymnastic meet. Upon watching the meet, my young girls were able to get posters and t-shirts signed by the team members. A day later, when her grandpa asked Lenay, one of the girls, about her experience at the meet, she told Grandpa, “We went to the Olympics.”
Some experiences are so wonderful, the experience leaves you feeling like some greater experience occurred. Sometimes accomplishing the one goal that you planned for the year or for many years back, once completed, makes you feels as if you climbed mountain Kilimanjaro. While you feel like you have climbed mountain Kilimanjaro, you may have only played that violin piece well, lost weight, or learned to dance the Tango. It does not matter how insignificant your goal is to others, if it is important to you, make your goals come true. Capture that feeling of accomplishment and use that feeling to motivate you to achieve your next goal. Goals may consist of growing a garden, increasing business and income, and improving an interpersonal relationship.
Since my girls had been in gymnastics for a couple of years, it was appropriate to have them understand why gymnastics is useful. I had the girls watch the pretrial videos of the Olympic 2008 tryouts. My thoughts are that this video will show them what they are aiming to accomplish with each gym activity. If the girls understood the results, they could work to become more efficient in gymnastics. One gym class, after having watched the pretrial videos a week earlier, Lenay said, “Mommy, I am tired of gymnastics,” as she walks off the gym floor. “I do not want to go to the Olympics.” She sat down in protest of finishing her gymnastic class.
You may also feel like not wanting to play in the Olympics or achieve your own set of goals after becoming tired or weary while working toward your goals. Having unrealistic goals contributes to your stress of becoming tired or weary (Weiten & Lloyd, 2006). My goal for Lenay is not necessarily for her to try out for the Olympics, because at four years old she has plenty of time to work toward Olympic, high school, and college tryouts for cheer leading or gymnastics, or none of the above. While I am careful not to impose too much on Lenay, I am aware that stress is largely self- imposed (Epstein & Katz, 1992). Keep your goals realistic and avoid imposing too much stress.
Epstein & Katz. (1992). In Weiten & Lloyd. (2006). Psychology applied to modern life: Adjustment in the 21st century. Belmont, CA: Thomson Wadsworth.
Weiten, W. & Lloyd, M.A. (2006). Psychology applied to modern life: Adjustment in the 21st century (8th ed.). Belmont, CA: Thomson /Wadsworth.
*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA