I think goal setting is something we like to think we do, but when it comes down to it, we fall short. In the past, I’ve made statements like “One day, I’ll ______.” Or “I want to go ________ someday.” When I started setting goals with deadlines and specified measures to meet them, my life changed.
Goal setting is an important part of making positive change in all areas of your life. Now I continually set specific goals. When I started running, I had the idea to run a 5K. At the time, I didn’t even know how far that was, but I knew there were 5K races out there. One day around town, I saw a flyer for a local 5K race. Boom! I had my deadline. It was still several months away, but I needed to lock myself in. I registered for the race as soon as possible so I wouldn’t back out. If you read my blog posts for any length of time, you’ll find I’m too frugal to pay for something and not follow through on it. My registration confirmation was my motivation to start a plan.
So how do you decide what goal you want to reach with running? If you look back to the “why” post, I think this will help. I needed a way to control my weight, but just exercising was not enough for me. I wanted to accomplish something I’d never done before. The thought of running 3.1 miles (the distance of a 5K) was challenging and I wanted to be able to say “I did it.” My next step was to make my goal a reality. A quick internet search turned up information on training plans and general information. I told other people my goal, so they could hold me accountable.
I’ll talk more about training in the next post, but for now I’d like to encourage you to take a few minutes and think up some running goals for yourself. It could be running a certain distance, a certain time, number of days, or being able to run/walk your way through an event. It could be a charity run, a fun run with your kids, or just a reason to get out of bed on Saturday mornings. Make it challenging, but not out of reach. Have some fun with this, and remember that you can do it!