I've been working a lot on goal-setting with clients (as well as on social media), but this is really just the beginning of the journey. Goal-setting is great. We should always be striving for something new, a greater achievement, greater learning, and overall improvement. But there comes a point where some of those goal-related activities integrate themselves into your life and if they were to disappear, you would miss them.
This is where intrinsic values come in. It's about doing something for your own pleasure; it makes you feel good about you.
I love running 10km races because of the experience:
I set a goal for myself: I want to run the whole race without slowing down beyond 6 minutes/km, and finishing around 55mins.
BUT! I also love the perks (extrinsic value): First, I get a medal and my running bib, which I proudly display on my wall after the race. Then there's the free T-shirt, the bag full of magazines, samples, and fun stuff.
After the race I usually recover for a few days, taking a break from running.
Truthfully, I could stop right there. It would be so easy just to not run anymore. I reached my goal. I had fun. I'm not planning another race anytime soon. So why keep going?
It's that little part of me that knows I'm a runner. I even run in my dreams. My happy place is when I'm running in the forest. It's my escape. I'm content, alone and totally happy in my own zone. And after I finish - I own that moment. It's mine and no one can take it from me.
That's where value comes in - the more intrinsic kind. I keep going - I get out there every chance I get because it makes me feel good. Do I care how fast I run? No. Do I care how much ground I cover? Not really. Do I meticulously monitor my heart rate, calories burned, steps taken? Definitely not. I stop caring about all that because they stop having meaning. When I'm not training for a race, it's just me and the forest (and most recently, Joe Rogan's voice in my head as I listen to a podcast). My feet on the dirt and the grass, my pace, my breath, and all my cares melt away.
Will I still work on achieving more? Absolutely. My next goal is to run a 15k or 1/2 marathon race, but for the time in between I can be easier on myself and just do what I love.
Find that peace. Find something that truly makes you happy and every once in a while, let the numbers and extrinsic values fade away. I love my medals and free t-shirts, but I love me more.