Setting goals is a normal and healthy part of life. You might have to push yourself to reach your dreams, but it can come to a point where it goes too far.
No matter if this means pushing too hard in the gym, school or work, you need to take a second to reflect on how it’s making you feel. If you force yourself to the point where you’re over-critical and unhappy, you should take a step back.
Here are five signs you’re pushing yourself too hard.
1. You Stop Self-Care
If there’s one thing you should prioritize when trying to reach a goal, it’s your self-care. Be sure you keep self-care as a priority when life gets overwhelming because it gives you a moment out of your day to check in with yourself.
Your nighttime routine maybe when you realize you’re consistently stressed.
If you’re a parent, self-care may seem like a challenging task. Taking care of children on top of your goals may make it feel impossible to find time for yourself. Make sure you take the time to reflect on yourself and turn your brain off.
2. You Aren’t Excited to Work On Goals
Working on goals should be fun and exciting with all the possibilities you can achieve. If you become obsessed with your plan, you might become crabby and not realize you’re overdoing it.
Include days when you stretch to heal your body or relax your mind in any way that feels good. Your goals should be fun, not make you feel like it’s a chore.
3. You Cancel Plans
When working on a goal affects your life so much that you cancel plans with loved ones, it’s a sign that you’re pushing yourself too hard.
For example, if you’re working hard on achieving your degree and have plans to catch up with your friends at dinner, meeting with them should be just as important.
Your relationships with people shouldn’t be affected, even if it means skipping a few hours to study or putting off your homework until the next day.
4. You’re in Pain
Exercise goals are common for a lot of people. There’s a common misconception that if you’re sore after a workout, it means you’re making progress. This is common and can even stop once you exercise more.
However, you could risk injuring yourself if you keep repeating the same activity that caused the soreness because you think it increases your results.
If you genuinely want progress, rest is crucial for muscle recovery. Muscles, tendons, bones and growth plates risk injury without proper rest.
Around 35% of adults suffer from sleep deprivation, which affects the mind and body. So, if you’re serious about reaching your goals, it’s important to prioritize rest and recovery.
5. You Only Focus on What Hasn’t Been Done
When you set a goal, there’s a chance you let all your little wins fly past you. Instead of taking the time to appreciate each thing you accomplish, you’re hyper-focused on what still needs to be done. Be sure you take the time to track your progress so you can go back and watch how far you’ve come.
This can apply to any goal in life. If you’re a student working on getting your grades up, even if they increase gradually, make sure you recognize those little wins before working on your next aim to get them higher.
Take Care of Yourself
To keep accomplishing goals, you need to be physically and mentally rested. Make sure you note when you may be pushing yourself too hard.
Mia Barnes is a women’s wellness freelance writer and researcher with over 3 years of experience writing in the niche. Mia is also the proud Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Body+Mind magazine.