I am a big believer in having goals. I would go so far as to say that you ALWAYS have some goal that you are working on. Some are consciously created, and some are unspoken goals that just creep into our daily lives.
Conscious goal: I want to run the Tulsa Marathon on November 19, 2017.
Unspoken goal: I want to take it easy and relax on the couch.
The conscious goal can be very effective in moving you forward. I like goals to be in the SMART format. (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time limit). I also like for my motivating goals to have two other components. First, I like goals that I’m not sure I can complete. Second, I like goals that scare me a little. These two components ensure that I will feel a sense of accomplishment once I reach that goal.
Take your big goal and break it down into manageable chunks so that from time to time, you can check in and see if you are making progress toward it. I generally break down goals so that there is some sort of weekly accountability.
A few years ago, completing a marathon would have been a big goal for me. Having now run 9 races of marathon distance or greater, finishing a marathon isn’t a big enough goal. I could simply set a faster time goal in the same distance, but again, that seems doable with some work. To make it more real for you, I suggest telling your goal to the world around you. So here is mine.
My big goal is to finish a 50 mile trail race by the end of 2017.
I’ve shared this goal with many close to me, but putting it out to the world gives it more urgency. I now know that by next spring, someone will ask me how my race went. The world around me becomes my accountability partner.
If you are looking for a goal, seek out those things that call to you. I get a lot of inspiration from YouTube , and in particular Ethan and Kim Newberry AKA The Ginger Runner and MileLongLegs. They are a couple that does gear reviews, run and shoot running films geared toward the middle or back of the pack more than the elite runners.
Get out there, find your passion, and find what it takes to keep you motivated!
Below is a sampling of my favorite films produced by The Ginger Runner. What I love about each of these films is the raw human side of each of these people. Sometimes courage is just taking that next step.
In 2006, Brian Morrison collapsed within a few hundred yards of winning the Western States 100 mile endurance run. He returned in 2016 to finish what he started.
Ethan’s first 100 mile race – The Cascade Crest 100
Kim’s first 50K – The Oregon Coast 50K