Reaching a goal. There’s no feeling like it. Particularly when you weren’t at all sure you could do it.

When I embarked on this weight-loss journey back in May, I didn’t have a specific goal. It was a few weeks before I came up with something that seemed reasonable. I wanted to be down 42 pounds by my 42nd birthday.

Scale wowEarly progress made it seem like a done deal, barely even a challenge.

But then I hit a bump in the road. A big one. I spent about five weeks yo-yoing, fighting with the same five pounds. Suddenly a goal that seemed easily attainable was in danger. A sure thing became touch and go.

At my last weigh-in before my “deadline,” I was five pounds away. Doable? Yes. A sure thing? Not by a long shot.

Fairly certain I was close to my goal, I went for my weigh-in and check-in with Dr. De Guzman on the eve of my 42nd birthday.

In my head, I was composing this blog post. My angle was that giving up was not an option. Goals are guidelines and not meeting one isn’t a failure, but rather a learning experience. I was going to write about the importance of focusing on the positive, something I am slowly but surely learning to do.

If my total came in at 41.5, I was totally going to round up and take the win.

Standing on the body-composition analyzer, I was ready for anything.

Then Tanita beeped.

I glanced over at the readout and almost couldn’t believe what I saw. I was down 6.5 pounds for the week. I had done it! I had lost 43.5 pounds in 19 weeks! That’s a pound and a half and a day to spare. An unequivocal victory. No ifs, ands or buts. Fact.

I excitedly posted my success to Facebook. (Duh.) In all caps, no less. That’s how thrilled I was. I yelled on Facebook. (I rarely do that.)

Everybody in the office was genuinely thrilled for me. Dr. De Guzman, who sang Happy Birthday as he walked into the exam room, made a note in my chart. With two exclamation points.

We then talked about a new goal. I’ll get to that in a minute.

Lucky necklaceLikes and congratulatory started rolling in on Facebook. (How did we ever survive before Facebook?) I have a vast and amazing support system comprised of people I see every day to those I haven’t spoken with face-to-face in years to those I’ve never even met in person. I am a very lucky girl.

As I rode the giddy happy feeling all day, it occurred to me that I hadn’t been ready for anything when I walked into SWLC hours earlier. Not like I thought I was.

I hadn’t been prepared for complete and total success. While I set the goal believing it was attainable, I never actually thought I’d make it. I couldn’t visualize it. I had reasons and excuses for not making it on standby, waiting for me to summon them from the dark recesses of my brain where IVE lives.

For weeks, I had been carrying doubt without realizing it. I blame IVE, who, by the way, has been mostly quiet since Tanita beeped the news. It’s such a relief! Silence really is golden.

IVE has spent weeks preparing me for imminent failure. I’ve spent those same weeks revising my definition of failure, as well as my reaction to it, in an effort to mitigate potential damage to my end game.

It hadn’t really occurred to me that I might actually do what I had set out to do.

I can’t quite describe the feeling I had leaving the office. Throw some excitement, relief, pride, hope, serenity, gratitude, confidence, enthusiasm, satisfaction, euphoria, inspiration, exhilaration, awe and love in a blender bottle and give it a good shake.

So, what’s the second thing you do after meeting a goal? Recognizing, appreciating and celebrating come first. While that’s happening, you set a new goal. Gotta take advantage of the momentum, right?

So, after talking it over with Dr. De Guzman, I decided that my next goal is to be down 20 more pounds by Jan. 1.

SMART GoalsLike my first goal, it’s SMART – specific, measurable, attainable, recorded and timely.

And while I’m sure doubt will creep in every now and then, I won’t be carrying it with me constantly this time.

Fact: I’ve already set and met a goal once. Hope: There’s absolutely no reason I can’t do it again.

P.S. Confession: I rode that on-top-of-the-world, can’t-stop-me, the-universe-is-smiling-on-me feeling to Circle K and bought a Powerball ticket. Somebody has to win, right? And I’m feeling lucky.