EMB #137: Post Goal Depression

Post goal depression isn’t something that’s talked about often but it is something that we all go through when setting goals.  If you set a big enough goal you know exactly what I’m talking about.  It’s like the let down after your wedding day; it’s like the day after winning the world series or a little league championship.  Post goal depression is that feeling after you sacrificed and trained and put everything you’ve got into that one goal, that one thing you set your sights on and didn’t let anything get in your way.  It doesn’t matter how big it was, to you it meant everything.  It was a marathon you didn’t think you could finish, it was the weekend baseball tournament, it was you and the challenge and that’s all you needed to put everything you have into it.

That’s what I’m going to talk about in this post because so many of us don’t know how to deal with it, we don’t know what to do next and quite honestly we’re a little shocked at the let down especially if we haven’t experienced something like this before.

I’m going to talk about why athletes don’t retire, why they keep coming back year after year; I’m going to talk about the challenges of a bikini or fitness competition, we’ll go over what to do after you goal so you don’t fall into that deep depression and how we can prevent this habitual feeling.  And in prevention lies the success I’ll talk about, it’s the success we’re all looking for when achieving ago but more so what’s after.  It doesn’t matter how hard you’ve worked or how much effort you put in, often it doesn’t matter what the outcome was, weather you won, lost or a still playing, what we’ll go over here is the let down, the after math, how to avoid painful days of post goal depressions.

Post goal depression is something we'll all need to address at some point if we set big enough goals.

Post goal depression is something we’ll all need to address at some point if we set big enough goals.

Prevention of Post Goal Depression

Alright we’re back on exploring mind and body and I’m talking about post goal depression, so let’s carry on with our next segment where I want to explain how to actually prevent post goal depression.; it’s important to note, regardless of where you’re at, things do get better.  If this is the first goal you’ve set, quite naturally you’ll be depressed the day after or a couple days after.  Now I’m not saying you should be but I am saying it’s normal if you are.  Some times it takes a couple days to set in but once you’ve hit that great achievement most people kind of sit and wonder what’s next?  You just put in so much time and effort, you just put aside the last 6 months or maybe even longer and now it’s all over with.  You’re not alone, so many people go through this; when it’s over it’s almost like you lose your identity.  That’s who you’ve been, you’ve fully embraced the lifestyle, the habits, the food maybe or even the exercise.  So what’s next?

What’s next is to push on, as hard as it may seem at the time, you need to find a way to keep moving forward.  This all goes back to your why which makes it all so important.  Why did you set your goal to begin with, what was the point of it, was it to be healthier, was it to set a good example, was it to show yourself you can?  These are all questions you went over at the beginning which should make this part easier.  If you’ve already asked yourself these questions than you already have the answers.  So play off of those answer and set new goals.  So if you chose to set a goal because you wanted to be healthy, why not set another goal in a similar fashion, I know what you’re thinking, you just finished a goal.

There’s nothing wrong with rest, we should all give our mind and bodies a chance to rest and heal and recover after anything as strenuous as an important goal but after a few days it is time to move on.  You will have to get up off the couch, you will have to start moving forward again in the progressions best suitable for you.  So that’s the first thing I want to emphasise.  You worked so hard at achieving this goal, you dedicated maybe your life to it so why stop there, why not find something just as meaningful and go at it again.  After you set a new goal you’ll find yourself alive and awake again, inspired and motivated; try it and you’ll see how much a difference this will make in your life.

Post goal depression is something we'll all need to address at some point if we set big enough goals.

Post goal depression is something we’ll all need to address at some point if we set big enough goals.

Losing Your Identity After a Major Goal is Accomplished

Maybe you’re thinking, will I always have to have a goal in my life, especially if this is the first time you set and achieved something as important as this.  The answer is yes and no, ha, not what you were looking for was it?  The truth of the matter is, it does get easier, the fact of the matter is, after this becomes a habit, after you’ve figured out a system that works for you, you’ll set goals and develop habits all the time, without thinking about it.  Depression will be less cause you’ll be thinking about your next goal, you won’t wonder where this feeling came from and why it hurts so much; and finally you won’t feel so lost, like you don’t know who you are.

There are two sides to the coin though, earlier I talked about losing your identity.  The degree of this subject depends on long you’ve been following this goal of yours but they are similar.  So let’s say you’ve been an athlete your whole life, you’ve had a dream of winning the superbowl, that’s what woke you up in the morning, that’s what pushed you in the weight room and at practice and now it’s over; you’re entire being for the last 15 years is done.  What do you do, well I’d imagine deep depression sets in; in face suicide has occurred which is the most extreme case but you see other move on, sometime they’re involved in the sport in another way, they may in an announcer, broadcaster, they may do research behind the scenes.  Then of course many other move on, find a new profession a new way of life which couldn’t be easy in any way but what each one of them does maybe without even know it, they set new goals and look to achieve something else in their life.

Another example is a wedding, I heard ladies talking about this once in awhile and others wouldn’t date to admit out loud which I could only guess is common.  Many women wait their entire lives to wear that white dress and have all their family present when they pronounce their love to the love of their life.  So don’t, but let’s roll with the scenario.  So there you are, you finally found ‘the one’, so you set a date, a year maybe or 6 months.  You pick a date, start making arrangements, have a list of who will come.  There’s so much anticipation leading up to this day which is actually a goal in disguise.   Then all of a sudden it’s over with. The day is done, you and your loved one remains but everything is gone.  Course hopefully you’re still with your loved one, ha, but all the hoopla, all the planning and decorations, it’s all over with so now what?  You whole life, what you’ve waited for, what you’ve planned and what you’ve looked forward to is over with and it’s time to move on.  And as I said earlier, I’m sure everyone doesn’t feel this way but I think deep down it’s only natural and more common the most would like to admit.

So what do you do, what do you do when your career is over with and you need to find something else to do; what do you do when that wedding day is finally over; what happens to mothers (an fathers too) when children move out of the house?  There’s no hidden secret to it, we move on, it’s what we do.  We find new goals, we look for a new job, we try to raise someone else’s child, haha, no I’m just kidding.  We work towards new goals in our life and the sooner we realize that the sooner we’ll be able to move on.  Just because you’re not playing your career sport anymore doesn’t mean you’re not an athlete; just because you child moved out doesn’t mean you’ll ever stop being a mother.  We move on, find different things to focus on, different things to pursue.  And everything ends up as it’s supposed to later in life.

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