The Warrior Dash was definitely a great lift-off to my new found desire to, well, actually, set goals. It came with its challenges (I completed it in another state with pneumonia and thought I had two months and really only had two weeks to prepare) but I loved the sense of scratching it off my “fit bucket list.” It also made me feel secure in myself, like I did years ago when I wanted to lose that forty pounds, to know that when I put my mind to something, I do it. I haven’t felt like that in a really long time.
On Tuesday night, I had the opportunity to participate in a Twitter chat with my friends from FitFluential and ViewSport (who, by the way, have shirts with “sweat-activated technology that reveals the shirts’ messages more when you sweat. No, I am not being paid for this post. I have two of those shirts and I love them.) only goal setting. I was so impressed/excited/surprised/overwhelmed by everything that I heard that night that I couldn’t even go to bed. All of a sudden, I wanted to complete a triathlon next year, possibly the Iron Girl and get my 5K time under 25 minutes.
But here I was, laid up with pneumonia and unable to exercise. What was I going to do?
I believe God has a way of timing everything just right. If I “were” well, I would have jumped out of the bed and immediately started doing some push-ups and crunches and then that would have gotten old after about three days and then I would have started running harder the next morning and then changed my mind after I realized I had pretty much committed to an 8 minute mile. I would have researched every triathlon in America and then become depressed about the fact that I don’t swim well. And then I would have thought goals were stupid, I was a dreamer and go right back to doing what I was doing; my every week routine that is NOT changing my body like I want.
Instead, I was able to think. I was able to think long and hard about the “whys” of what I wanted and why I had not pursued them in all of this time. I was able to chat with people who had the same fears or were handling the same struggles and yet everyone seemed so optimistic. I was able to think about what it is that I REALLY want to do (I think Cross Fit is amazing for some but not for me so WHY would I make that one of my goals?), how I was going to do it and how much time, effort and money I was willing to invest. It was all overwhelming. I have a lot of things I want to accomplish. I’m ready. But the question is now what?
- Surround yourself with people who have similar goals. I realized that most of my friends do not have fitness ambitions like I do. Talk of triathlons are met with strange looks and “oh, that’s nice.” There is nothing like being supported by people who understand what you want to accomplish and have the same desire and drive.
- Create both short and long term goals. I know, ultimately, where I want to be (a triathlon and seven pounds smaller.) That’s where I started. I think thought about how I could make short term goals to ultimately get me there (making time for my swimming, adding it to my schedule, looking at runs I could participate in up until that point, setting a bike riding goal, deadlines for weight loss per month and plans to accomplish such, ways to change up my workouts, what to add, what to take away…yeah, I got REAL thorough.)
- Keep in mind that your ultimate reward is keeping your word to yourself. If there is an awesome Louis Vuitton bag that you want after you complete your first marathon, then go for it. 🙂 However, if you start to only doing things because you “get” something, then why are you really doing it?
- Find someone to keep you accountable. This is a hard one for me because I am actually very private with my goals and what I am doing. I have one friend that I talk to about what it is that I am doing and how I am going about it because I know, even in love, I am never let off the hook. All of us need an extra push every now and then.
- Keep a written account. How are you progressing? How do you feel about your journey? You need to see more than the “words” of your goals. You want to see the emotion behind them because then you can gauge how bad you want it. If you start to sound lukewarm, you either need a push or some time to re-evaluate.
What are your goals? Three months left in 2012. You DO have time. 🙂