Two years ago and change, I had a clear goal: I wanted to get home. It was not very generous to the home I had lived in for most of the recovery until then, my father, stepmother and sister's home. Nor very generous to them, or the many people around me who were invested in my recovery. Nevertheless I wanted to be well enough to go home to New York City, where I've lived all millennium.
Without realizing, I had a clear and attainable goal for exercise, and through exercise, recovery. Returning home, though, has been a problem. Sure I have a ton of friends here, and a great support network, but my goals for recovery have been too distant, and I have often failed completely and fallen into a mire of doubt, depression and inactivity. My goal to walk on my hands again is too far away to be useful.
I also have a different perception of expectations here in New York. When I don't go to the gym or pool, then I feel as though I'm the only person who suffers. Back in England, I feel more keenly that I am disappointing the people around me. It doesn't make a lot of sense: people in the US are just as invested in my recovery, and people in the UK are invested regardless of where I am (not to mention those elsewhere). It may not be wholly rational, but I find it easier to exercise in the UK than in the US.
Of course, since I'm aware of the problem, I'm trying to fix it, but setting a goal that makes sense is hard. Right now, I'm lucky: I have a definite date by which I want to be in as good shape as possible. That means swimming 3-4 times a week, and going to the gym 1-3 times weekly. Or I fail. No excuses, no alternative.
Come January, though, what then? Goals to lift weights aren't very useful to me. I already swim for at least an hour and a half, non-stop. What next? Something attainable, achievable through diligence, beneficial. If I think of something, I'll let you know.