Running – a goal setting story and lesson

Because gyms closed during Covid19, I got back into running in a big way.

What fueled this desire was the vision that I wanted to maintain my health and fitness and also be able to run a distance comfortably once again. 

I live in a hilly area. At first the hills made me nervous. But I set myself the goal of running a route around a nearby park and back up a hill towards home without stopping. And two weeks ago I did it! Yes!

My process to achieve this goal was to set off slowly. And run every second day. Run til I was uncomfortable, then walk. Then work myself up to running the route with the allowance of 4 stops, then 3 stops, then 2, and then finally it was a home run. I also broke down the dreaded hill part of the route into landmarks. On Monday I made it to the grey house, on Wednesday I made it to the white house, and on Friday I made it to the house with the funny statue outside. Eventually after a few weeks of doing this I was able to do the whole hill stretch without stopping.

And two weeks ago I did the entire run with no stopping and maintaining speed. Home was in sight and I was puffed but feeling good. And I made it!

Now what?

Well, do it again! Prove that it wasn’t a fluke. 

Turns out I could do it again. And again. And again. I’ll admit, some days were harder than others and some days felt as good as the first completion day. As an aside, this post is still very relevant to my current regime.

Then something changed. I was out running again but I felt bored. Which led to stopping a few times. I blamed it on a bad sleep or a not so filling dinner the night before. But then I stopped again the next time I ran. It was then that I realised that I needed to reconnect to my vision. To the WHY of my running.  

Being able to run the route I’d set was an achievement that supported my vision. But the vision was to maintain my health and fitness and that’s never ‘done’. It’s a part of who I am.

So I shook it up. I explored new routes to run, challenged myself in a new way. In the end I made up a rotation of three routes to challenge myself and keep myself interested in the habit. 

Having more variety mixed in kept things interesting. I actually started to look forward to the ‘easier’ route. The route I’d nailed, compared to the more challenging ones that I was about to tackle.

And it was while running that I thought of this blog post. That I had many thoughts about the journey versus the achievement. And it was when a very speedy runner overtook me that I considered how we compare ourselves to others even though our journeys are all very different. That ‘speedy runner’ could have just left their house and were fresh with energy compared to my depleted tank. Or they were on their ‘easy’ run which just so happened to be my challenging one, so it shows just how much better at running I can get.

Gyms go back in a few weeks time. I’m excited for this because the variety of achieving my health and fitness vision will expand. I’ll keep running my routes though, adapting them as I need to. Checking back in with myself as I need to in order to keep satisfying my goals and my vision.

Hang on...

I may sound like a Personal Trainer in this post. And in a way I am. For your calendar and for your time. What I hope to express here is that goal setting and the visions that we have for our life, permeate every aspect of life and examples can be found everywhere. If you’re avoiding tackling a goal, a goal that will make the vision of your life become a reality, try looking into how you achieved something smaller. Something easier. The same recipe can be applied to every other goal. 

And if you need guidance to see it – give me a call. I’m happy to coach you through it.

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Ps: My program called ‘Design and Achieve Your Best Life: Goal Setting’ helps make achieving your goals a reality. Check this out for more information.

Talk soon,

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